The local police officer from Cànoves and Samalús (Barcelona) last Friday placed a poster on the notice board at the entrance of the town: “Black and white cat wanted”, read the page, with an image of the feline. This type of event is all that happened in this quiet town of 3,156 inhabitants on the slopes of Montseny, 50 minutes from the Catalan capital. On Thursday, however, the newspaper The case revealed that one of the neighbors was involved in an extraordinary event: the robbery at gunpoint of 145,000 euros and three mobile phones, the subsequent robbery of a taxi and another robbery, of a bag with 11,000 euros, which ended in a chase with accident. He was not just any neighbor: he was Eduardo Beltran Perez, councilor in the Cànoves town hall for the Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSC).
Beltrán was, by day, a reserved neighbor, working on his own property company around the area, he visited customers in his old gray family Mazda and went to town hall meetings when required. However, the last one, on September 30, it was not. He excused himself saying that he was injured in the knee, as confirmed to THE SPANISH sources in your environment. It was the first face-to-face plenary session after the pandemic and Beltrán had been erased from the map. Just four days later he starred in the grotesque robbery.
Because when others did not see him, Beltrán devoted himself to a much darker world: selling all kinds of non-existent goods to buyers who, for prices lower than those of the market, ventured to run the risk of making transactions with a stranger and in the most absolute illegality. A double life of which his neighbors and those who knew him were hardly aware.
Beltran was a ghost that went completely unnoticed. Despite the small number of residents and the few commercial premises in town, no one knew about him. Neither in the two restaurants in the urban center of Cànoves, nor in the two shops that overlook the main square, nor in the pharmacy … “I hope that now he does not come to assault us”, the pharmacist says sarcastically to this newspaper. He claims to have never seen or recognized him after showing him an image.
The same answer the rest of passersby, who after a week of what happened -on Monday, October 4- do not leave their astonishment. “We have never seen him around here,” say two middle-aged men talking on one of the downtown streets.
His companions at the consistory table, who did have a closer relationship with him, did not know him well either. “He is one more colleague, a normal and ordinary person who has never done, at least in the town hall, nothing suspicious”, Tells this newspaper Agustín Pérez, Security Councilor of the local government party, Nou Impuls i Unitat (NIU). Beyond the walls of the town hall, Pérez does not know what life the man led.
Another councilor from the same party, Dani García, says that Beltrán was always well dressed, slick, with good watches and brand clothes. “Being someone who works in the real estate world, his appearance did not seem to me to distrust. You have to sell and deal with many clients, “says Garcia.
In the recesses of the town hall meetings they had trivial work conversations: “The last time I spoke with him he commented that things were beginning to pick up in the real estate sector, although he told me that during the Covid I had a bad time because he had barely done second home renovations ”. But nothing else.
Beltrán was elected councilor almost on the rebound, in the municipal elections of May 26, 2019, just a few months before the pandemic, with which most of the meetings were at a distance. Nor was he interested in municipal politics: entered the consistory because two elected positions resigned their seat, that is, as a substitute for a substitute. In addition, his party was not on the government team and, from his small plot in the town hall, he was never involved in the life of the people.
“He’s a reserved guy, he didn’t interact much or participate”, says García. “Despite having few inhabitants, we always have social gatherings, entities organize things, we have a major party … He did not appear in any of this, nor did he relate too much,” he continues. In the town hall, Beltrán charged 100 euros for each plenary session he attended, and had another 50 of monthly allowance that went to the municipal group’s boat.
Alone with two dogs
Despite the neighborhood acts, Cànoves is not a place that lends itself to a life as it is understood in most towns. It is a municipality that houses extensive urbanizations middle class in the middle of lush forests. There, most of the houses are far enough apart from each other that you don’t have to say hello to your neighbor if you don’t want to, and there are few meeting places. It is the perfect place to avoid attracting attention and lead a double life like that of Beltrán, who had settled in the urbanization Ca l’Esmandia, about five minutes by car from the center of town.
Beltrán led a lonely life in this urbanization with his two dogs: a Dalmatian and a burly Rottweiler with the face of few friends who welcome those who dare to approach the door of their owner’s chalet with loud barks. EL ESPAÑOL tried to talk to Beltrán, who flatly refused.
His appearance is far from that described to this newspaper by his colleague from the city council Dani García: he is unshaven and wears clothes to walk around the house, in a T-shirt and shorts. After being arrested on Monday and being released 72 hours later, awaiting trial, Beltrán He was secluded last Thursday in this 150-meter chalet built with a garden, from where he does not leave and only feeds his dogs.
He does not dare to look at the only social premises of the urbanization, a bar where he did not show himself when no one knew of his alleged criminal history. “He has been locked in his house without leaving since he was released. On Friday the secret came to visit him ”, says a neighbor who does not want to give his name.
Another neighbor, who lives door to door with the councilor, admits that he does not get along with him, and says that he is a type of whom “it is better to be far away.” “I have never wanted to know anything about that house, from the beginning, and now even less ”, the man concludes abruptly.
In the same address where he lives, Beltrán has his real estate company registered, which was born in 2012 and whose last accounts presented date from 2014. In that year he declared a turnover close to half a million euros. But it seems that those years have been far away, according to a person close to this newspaper: for some time, Beltrán has been having difficulties with the company, a fact that pushed him to find a life in parallel, in the shadow of the law . This was evidenced last Monday in the Olympic port from Barcelona.
The Monday, October 4, Beltrán stayed with two people at the Gregal Wharf of the Olympic Port of the city of Barcelona. He had convinced them to sell them some cryptocurrencies at a price well below the usual. When those interested in the purchase presented themselves, Beltrán showed a pistol Beretta APX, for which he has a license, and took out a false Civil Guard badge. He posed as an agent for the Benemérita and deceived the buyers into believing that he had caught them. Then he requisitioned their 145,000 euros in cash that they had prepared for the exchange. He also took three iPhones that the victims were carrying.
Then, on the same dock, Beltrán shot a taxi driver, who stole the vehicle and another bag with 11,000 euros in cash. Then he fled. By then, the Urban Guard initiated a chase that found the suspect thanks to the real-time location that was activated on one of the stolen phones. Local police officers found him at El Martinenc, in the Horta neighborhood, north of Barcelona. Beltrán crashed the car in a movement that he could not control and was later arrested.
The agents found the 11,000 euros in cash that he had taken from the taxi driver inside the vehicle. Too the Civil Guard plaque, the gun, the three mobile phones and the 145,000 euros of the victims who were going to buy the cryptocurrencies. Beltrán also had another 145,000 false euros. The Mossos d’Esquadra, in charge of the investigation after the arrest by the Guàrdia Urbana, are still digging into this last detail to clarify why he was wearing them.
It also remains to be resolved the origin of the taxi driver’s 11,000 euros and whether there was any kind of prior relationship between him and the councilor. Police sources indicated to EL ESPAÑOL that a taxi collection that reaches that amount is highly unlikely, and everything indicates that the money had another origin with which it is still unknown if the detainee had anything to do with it.
As related The case, the newspaper that linked the suspect to his public position in Cànoves i Samalús, the man was an old acquaintance of the police. He had been arrested on other occasions for similar scams, which are called Rip Deal: in them, through deception, the thief convinces the victims that they will get goods for prices well below market prices. The victims, seeing the benefit they can get, risk illegal transaction. In most cases, however, the goods never exist, as was the case with Beltrán’s cryptocurrencies.
The mayor was detained in police stations for the maximum 72 hours allowed by law. After this time, he was handed over to the judge, who left him in conditional freedom, with the prohibition to leave Spain, withdrawal of the passport and weekly appearance in court. Beltrán is being investigated for the crimes of robbery with violence and intimidation, theft and reckless use of a motor vehicle.
So far, it has been suspended from membership of the PSC, although he has not given up his councilor’s act. He could keep her as an independent elected position, something that generates rejection in the rest of the consistory. The party has not yet officially ruled on the matter.