The theft took seconds, the robber was a 'deaf' man that had been sent away some 30 minutes before. The couple knew he was signing people up to a fake petition for a home for the deaf - as a distraction.
He came back to them 30 minutes later, totally silently and with incredible dexterity took her handbag inside which was her passport, mobile and credit cards, telephone, etc. While her husband phoned the police she searched for the man, found him and confronted him. He was NOT deaf!! A photo was taken of him. He then hit her with his clipboard, the phone went flying onto the floor. The husband chased him to the getaway car, noted his accomplice and the car registration number.
The photo of the robber went to their experts and immediately a match was found and all the papers were signed identifying him. The lady visited the emergency health centre and has an accompanying certificate for injury during the robbery. This will increase his likelihood of going to prison. All the transactions at the Guardia were in Spanish.
The husband said that he regrets not having phoned the police when he first saw the man. His advice is that, If you see such people in car parks, call the police. You never know, the man you identify might be already on their list and your evidence will add to their case in court.
As I said previously, we were approached by a man in the car park at Carrefour in Torrevieja who was operating the same scam. When I refused to give him money, he quickly disappeared in the direction of the petrol station. I didn’t see him get into a car or any other person who might have been an accomplice. In our case, we were leaving so, even if he had returned, we would not have been there. I suppose I could have got a photo of him but it would have been from the back, hardly useful for the police to identify who he was.