Spanish authorities have recovered nearly 800 gallons of stolen olive oil, among other contraband, in the city of Castuera.

The robbery was first reported on October 31, when it was discovered that an undetermined number of thieves had broken into an olive oil mil belonging to the company Rey Alimentación S.L. Among the missing goods were eight pallets (containers weighing 1,850 pounds) of extra virgin olive oil, four of which were intended for export to the United States.

The stolen merchandise was valued at €16,800 (US$22,747), according to Manolo Rey, one of the managers at the mill. He received a call from authorities shortly after 11 p.m., saying that they had apprehended a stolen van containing bottles with his company’s name on it.

“We went immediately to the premises of the mill and found that the doors of the storage facilities we use for bottled and labeled olive oil had been broken into and that the security camera had been smashed. Then we noticed the missing olive oil and tools. The tanks where we store our fuel had also been broken into,” Rey recalls.

According to La Cronica Badajoz, highway authorities seized the stolen vehicle at a blockade on autovia A-5 in Castuera. When the officers requested identification, the occupants of the van fled across a nearby field. Upon searching the van the officers found numerous boxes containing bottles of olive oil as well as four bottles of diesel fuel and two tires.

Though the fugitives of the van have not been tracked down, Spanish authorities suspect the crime may have been perpetrated by members of a highly organized gang based in Madrid. Officers were almost certain that multiple people had acted in the crime against Rey Alimentacion.

This recent incident marks the second time in five years that the same olive oil mill has been broken into. Three years ago some 2,600 gallons of olive oil and a Mercedes Benz automobile were stolen at the site. The owners of the company noted that the nature of the crime in both cases was “exactly the same.”

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