It took almost three years for the Civil Guard to close the circle that began to be traced on the afternoon of August 6, 2018 in a jewelry store in Carmona. Three criminals of Romanian nationality brutally murdered the jeweler, Francisco Cintado, from whom they stole just under six thousand euros and a series of jewels. They also took away the monitor of the video surveillance system, believing that with it they took the images in which they could be seen perfectly how they tied and gagged the victim and began to brutally beat him to death. They did not notice that the hard drive, where the images had been saved, had remained in the store.
The monitor was precisely one of the details that made a person who ran into them on the street suspect. The witness called the Civil Guard that afternoon, hours before it became known that the jeweler had been killed. He said that he had come across three individuals who were behaving strangely. They were speaking in Romanian, as if arguing, they were carrying a television (it was actually the video surveillance monitor, which the witness mistook for a television and thought it had been stolen from a house) and several bags.
He saw them get into a car, a Rover 420, of which he managed to write down the license plate. The Civil Guard sent a patrol to the area, but the agents did not see anything strange. There was nothing forced or remnants of violence in the street. Hours later, the victim’s daughter discovered her father’s body when she entered the jewelry store with her key. When the investigators arrived and saw that the monitor was missing, they already spun.
The car was recorded by a camera that morning in Madrid. And it would later appear abandoned in Germany. This allowed the Civil Guard to know with certainty that they were in the presence of the jeweler’s murderers and that they had left Spain. From Germany they returned to Romania by public transport. The armed institute had already identified the three criminals when they entered Spain a few days before the crime. All three had records, with blood crimes in Romania, and petty theft in Spain.
The witness’s account facilitated the identification, but the investigation was lengthened as he was outside the country. It was the turn of cooperation at European level, which bore fruit a few months after the murder with the arrests of the first two suspects. And, finally, last July, with the arrest of the third, the man who appeared as the owner of the vehicle used to flee, who lived hidden in a cellar of a house in the Romanian town of Galati. The first two were sentenced to 33 and 20 years in prison.
“It is a very great satisfaction. Mainly because it responds to the family’s pain. And also because we have removed three undesirables from the street. Because they were people who had no scruples in killing the jeweler, and they did it premeditated. It was not necessary killing him, keeping him immobilized would have achieved the same thing,” says the Civil Guard brigade who led the investigation.
The murderers had been to the jewelry store a few days earlier, they asked Cintado to show them a sample of rings so they would know where he kept the jewelry, and they also left him a watch to repair. In this way they guaranteed that the merchant would open the door for them when they returned days later. They did it on a quiet afternoon in August, when they thought no one would see them.
But they were seen by a citizen whose testimony was key. “I remain with the fundamental aspect of citizen collaboration. It is something that I have shown since I joined the Civil Guard. There is always someone who has a good background and wants to help. Another person would not have done anything that day and this man called. The information he gave us was decisive and so I let him know on his day.
It is curious that in the age of technology, where anyone with a mobile phone can be geolocated, in the end it was a witness who accelerated the investigation. “We would have identified them through other means or systems, but that person giving that information helped us in an incredible way. When an investigation of this type is carried out, nothing is discarded. Sometimes the door-to-door method is used. Technological measures they have their weight, but nothing is ruled out. The witness perceives a series of elements that technology cannot provide. He saw them hurrying, arguing, in an attitude that was suspicious.”
The capture of the last of the criminals was delayed in time because he knew that he was being sought, even more so after his two companions were tried and convicted for their participation in the crime. He lived hidden in a hole. The brigade highlights international cooperation, which is where the complexity of this case has been based. “This is something in which the Civil Guard is at the forefront. And the Romanian Police usually work very well when they are asked to arrest a suspect. With this arrest, I think the family has rested. It must be very frustrating to know that one of the authors was still free”.

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