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A warning to all, these scum are still operating on the island.

A couple of Romanian nationality, referred to for theft in Madeira and suspected of belonging to an organised crime network operating in Europe, was detained this morning by the Public Security Police, when he assaulted tourists in downtown Funchal.

According to the Diario Noticias, the foreign pickpockets put into practice a discreet stolen theft technique when they were on Rua do Aljube, near Bazar do Povo, in Funchal, victimising two citizens of Swiss nationality.

Two passers-by who managed to unveil the the couple, alerted the PSP and they stopped the two pickpockets who were then taken to the Funchal squad for identification purposes.

The couple claimed they had been holidaying for two days, but actually have been for at least a week. And they are not alone. The two Romanians belong to a gang, also of people from Eastern Europe, referenced by crimes of robbery of this nature in the main touristic circuits of Madeira and also in the most popular ready-to-dress stores.

The suspects act by mingling with tourists and race the points of attraction in and around the city of Funchal, attacking in crowded places, profiting from the confusion.

The couple arrested by the PSP carried Carnival brochures with the program of parties, flyers of tours and excursions and maps. They were very well documented about how to get there and where to go.

On the days they were here, they paid tickets for bus and cable car rides, but also to enter museums. But behind the seemingly fun tourist was a subtle goal: stealing wallets, putting into practice a standard method. One of the elements of the pack clings to the victim, the other asks for information and the third takes the wallet without anyone noticing.

Diario Noticias knows that the suspects were carrying several pieces of clothing in a backpack – some of them stolen from the shops – and changed their clothes when they changed the action plan, thus trying to mislead the authorities.