Madeleine McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner ‘is linked to 25 burglaries’ in Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz where youngster vanished, court papers reveal
- Police linked 25 burglaries on Praia da Luz holiday homes to Christian Brueckner
- Cash, cameras and mobile phones were the typical items taken during the raids
- Most of the burglary victims were from the UK, court papers have now revealed
Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner has been linked to 25 burglaries in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz where the youngster vanished, court papers have revealed.
Police hunting the intruder who raped an American OAP in Praia da Luz looked at an astonishing 25 burglaries in just eight months they suspected could also have been committed by the man unmasked years later as the German paedophile.
Most of the burglary victims were from the UK.
And court documents show up to three break-ins analysed by police trying to solve the horrific September 2005 rape Brueckner carried out took place in one 24 hour period on holiday homes occupied by British tourists.
Cash, cameras and mobile phones were the typical items taken in the raids, which often occurred when occupants were out but at times happened when holidaymakers were in other parts of the properties targeted.
Christian Brueckner was linked to up to 25 burglaries in the resort of Praia da Luz, above, Madeleine McCann’s family were staying when she disappeared, above
The list of unsolved burglaries emerged as a man described as a former friend of Brueckner’s confirmed the convicted sex offender had broken into hotel rooms and holiday flats on the Algarve.
The pal, identified only as Manfred S, told German broadcaster RTL Brueckner had bragged to him about the break-ins when they roamed the Algarve together as small-time crooks.
He also revealed he had discovered a video camera with footage of the sex offender raping his elderly victim at her Praia da Luz holiday home, along with a video of a younger woman tied to a wooden beam in another house.
Manfred S told RTL he took the footage to police because he was so disturbed at what he saw and the video eventually led to Brueckner’s conviction for the rape.
A man described as a former friend of Brueckner’s confirmed the convicted sex offender had broken into hotel rooms and holiday flats on the Algarve
The German drifter, who lived in a ramshackle cottage a 15-minute drive from the holiday apartment Madeleine McCann went missing from on May 3 2007, received a seven-year prison sentence late last year after being found guilty of the sex attack in his homeland.
Portuguese detectives compiled a list of 25 unsolved break-ins in Praia da Luz in the first eight months of the year of the September 2 2005 rape in a bid to catch the sex offender when he was still at large.
A police report included in the court files, detailing a review of the crimes, says: ‘An analysis of the break-ins that have occurred since the start of 2005, right up to the date of the sex offence, has taken place.
‘The possibility the sex offender could be related to the home burglaries is not something that can be excluded.
‘However it has not been possible to obtain any evidence linking the crimes, given that the identity of the person or people behind the burglaries remains unknown.’ The sequence of break-ins is also laid out in the files, showing the first Praia da Luz crime occurred on January 11 and the victims were a British model and her producer partner.
The intruder crept into the property while they were in their living room and took a £3,600 laptop and a Samsung mobile as well as cash, credit cards, sunglasses and a British passport.
Two teenage students from Loughborough in Leicester, aged 18 and 16, were targeted just over two months later while they were out.
They came back home to find cash and credit cards had been stolen.
The court files show three Brit holidaymakers were the victims of almost identical break-ins on the evenings of August 6 and 7, less than a month before the American OAP was raped in the same holiday resort.
The burglaries occurred while the tourists were out for the night, with the intruder forcing entry at two of the properties before stealing valuables including cash, cameras, a watch and computer equipment.
There were no witnesses to the spate of crimes and no DNA profiles are believed to have been obtained by police at the time.
Madeleine McCann disappeared from the hotel room her family were staying at in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007
Brueckner was arrested for diesel theft in the Algarve town of Portimao in April 2006 and spent the following eight months behind bars, but was a free man when the 2005 burglaries analysed by police occurred and was living near the scenes of the 25 crimes.
He admitted to a judge he was a convicted sex offender when he was held for the diesel theft, but the key information was never passed on to police investigating Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.
The German drifter was linked last month by Portuguese TV to a 2007 burglary in Gale, a 45-minute drive east of Praia da Luz, that led to a family’s £90,000 life savings being taken.
RTP investigative reporter Sandra Felgueiras claimed he had been working with a female accomplice who tipped him off so he could break into properties in the Algarve in copycat raids to the one investigators believe resulted in Madeleine’s abduction.
Brueckner was declared the prime suspect in the Madeleine case in June.
He is currently in Germany’s Kiel Prison for drugs offences and is due to start a seven-year sentence for the 2005 Praia da Luz rape.
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