Update 3 February 2011: Three youths have been arrested for these numerous attacks. The arrests were made by agents of the Police Intervention Unit (Unipol) of Santa Cruz after a concerted stake-out by 9 plain-clothed and uniformed officers.
Police had to contend with significant interference in their arrest as friends and family of the youngsters tried to prevent their detention. One family member even blocked a police vehicle with his own car to try to stop them taking the youths away.
All three are minors and have been identified by the initials P.A.G.G. (15 years of age); K.V.R. (14); and C.A.G.D. (17). The first two have been detained in the Valle Tabares centre, from which K.V.R. had escaped. The third is being processed by the Fiscalía de Menores. LO
Original post 20 November 2010: A 66-year-old German tourist was injured in a robbery in the Añaza area on Thursday afternoon. The woman and her partner were the victim of a crime that the area around Carrefour is now becoming known for: a couple from a group of youths hold up traffic by walking across a zebra crossing and their fellow thieves open the doors of the car and seize whatever they can get away with.
El Dia reports Santa Cruz Policía Local are investigating the latest of what is now a series of such assaults. In this latest robbery, the woman’s hand was injured as she unsuccessfully tried to stop the thieves snatching a video camera, 700 Euros in cash, a mobile phone, and passports and a wallet containing documents and cards. The couple are staying in a hotel in the south, and going north, were stopped when they were disoriented at the junction for the TF5 and ended up heading down towards Añaza.
This is another unfortunately salutary lesson for us all. We don’t just need to take care when out and about, but even when in our own cars, particularly when they are stopped at a crossing or traffic lights. The only safe thing to do, as I used to do in the UK before I left there, is to keep the doors of the car locked at all times.