British fugitive caught sunbathing in Spain

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Associated Press

Posted on May 12, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Updated Sunday, May 12 at 11:35 PM

MADRID (AP) — Spanish police snuck up on a British fugitive as he sunbathed, arresting him in a dramatic raid that even saw the suspect leap onto the roof of a nearby outhouse to try to get away.

The arrest of Andrew Terence Moran, 31, on Friday came some four years after he assaulted and escaped from security guards during an armed robbery trial in the United Kingdom.

Moran was found at a luxury villa in Calpe, a resort on the Alicante coast, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, an Interior Ministry statement said Sunday.

Police video footage showed how officers stealthily approached a swimming pool while hiding behind walls before pouncing on Moran as he relaxed in red swimming trunks.

As soon as police jumped over the walls, Moran tried to flee, leaping onto the tiled roof of a pool-side outhouse before being captured.

According to Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency, police also seized two handguns, 60 rounds of ammunition and a machete.

"Moran thought he could evade capture fleeing to Spain, frequently changing his appearance and using false identities," said Matt Burton, SOCA's head of investigations.

Moran and an associate, Stephen Devalda, 29, were accused of stealing 25,000 pounds (US$38,400) from a mail van in Colne, northwest England, using a handgun, machete and baseball bat. A security guard was injured in the May 2005 robbery.

During his escape from custody in 2009, Moran assaulted four security guards and vaulted over the courtroom dock. He was convicted in his absence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Alerted to his presence near the Mediterranean coast, Spanish police tracked him down last November. However, Moran managed to get away after using his vehicle to ram two belonging to the police and driving off at high speed on the wrong side of a highway.

A search of the house he had been living in at the time uncovered a handgun, ammunition, and five kilos (11 pounds) of cannabis, among other items.

Moran is due to appear in a Madrid court on Monday where a judge will begin extradition proceedings.

Devalda was arrested in March 2011 at a hotel in the southern luxury resort of Marbella. He was extradited to Britain where he was sentenced to nine years and eight months in jail for conspiracy to commit armed robbery and seven months for jumping bail.

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Associated Press writer Cassandra Vinograd in London contributed to this report.

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