Swarthy Visitor

Imagine, if you will, another lovely, sunny day in the sleepy hamlet of Molvízar, 8.00am, and there you are in your neat little townhouse on a quiet back street. The lady of the house, starting your day, is just gently pottering. Hubby is deep in the land of Nod upstairs, which suits you just fine as you go about your early morning chores. You’ve thrown open your doors and windows, to air out the place, as everybody does, and you’re just enjoying the peace and quiet.

Suddenly, you hear a noise behind you. Huh? Not Hubby! No way is he up yet! So you walk the three steps from the kitchen to the front door, to see the back of a broad-shouldered young man with dark curly hair and a deep tan, exiting your premises, and taking off (uphill!) towards the village. You look around, and see your handbag is exactly where you left it last night. Phew, you think. What a relief. Nothing stolen.

Then you walk upstairs (where Hubby is still magnificently oblivious) to see all three of your jewellery boxes are missing. Shock, horror set in immediately. You’ve just been robbed, in broad daylight, and with people in the house only feet from the robber.

You do what you were taught in your home country: you call the police. Now, in Molvízar, the Local Police consists of Paco, who duly informed the complainants, “I don’t do crime; this is for La Guardia. (However, should you park your car in front of a neighbour’s house, I’ll be right down to issue a ticket).

Anyway, one visit later to La Guardia, in Salobreña, you end up with una denuncia against person(s) unknown. Just a description (from the back) of aforesaid swarthy-complexioned youth. These sage gentlemen (no pun intended, but I just couldn’t resist it) are nodding to each other, and saying, “Aaaaah – Los Romanos regresan.” Meaning – Ah, the Romanian Gypsies are back. Their words, not mine, I hasten to add.

There is, to be fair, a long history all along the coast of Andalucía of Eastern Europeans conducting household robberies, mostly in organised gangs. And La Guardia is very aware of this. Come summer, when there is more wealth here to be stolen, the gangs are known to become more and more active and even more sophisticated; to the point of targeting an urbanisación, pumping ‘sleeping gas’ through keyholes or windows of selected villas, then cutting out locks and walking in to take anything of value. Cars, if keys are handy, TV sets, anything they can put their sticky hands on. They’ve even been known to remove iron gates from their hinges, in order to remove vehicles from the premises.

If robbery in broad daylight can happen in Molvízar, it can happen anywhere. So please, be warned. And beware. Many of these robbers don’t care if you’re in the house or not. Which fact carries with it at least the implication that they are prepared to be violent, if confronted.

Oh, and here’s the final insult in this particular case; because the front door was ‘open,’ the insurance company will not pay out one penny. Aren’t they just special?

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