News from Spain had been somewhat unsettling of late. Before we flew out yesterday, we received news of several burglaries in our development. There are six blocks, each consisting of five units. First we heard that two units in our block had been broken into. Not initially knowing which, we were on tenterhooks until discovering that ours had not been targeted. Then we heard that a third unit in our block had been breached but again, mercifully we escaped.
The next news was more heartening. We heard that the Guardia had stopped a suspicious vehicle and apprehended two men. We even had a photograph showing three police cars and the villains Next we learned that a camp of suspects “surrounded by TVs” had been discovered in neighbouring Alcalalí. A meeting with the Guardia has been arranged in the town hall on Monday, to which we have been invited, I suspect for the Guardia to trumpet their success.
This morning, Francine spotted one of our pairs of permanent residents wandering up the steps beneath our balconies. Francine greeted them. They greeted Francine with the news that two more units in another block had been broken into. The two units in question are immediately overlooked by that very pair of permanent residents, who think it must have happened either last night or, perhaps, yesterday evening under the cover of people watching TV.
Now we really are wondering whether the chap Francine spotted shortly after we arrived really was one of the culprits.
As luck would have it, our local locksmith arrived at our neighbouring unit to fit a concertina security gate across the entrance door. Since our spate of burglaries, his business has been brisk – he’s in the process of fitting 20 or so gates in 30 properties. He’s the nice man who rescued us from the embarrassment of locking ourselves on our balcony. I popped out to say hello and ask if he’d heard about last night’s attacks. His eyebrows shot up, which I took as a no. We went down together to inspect the damage. The pattern was familiar. The door of one unit had been jemmied open while in the other unit, which had a security gate across the entrance door, the metal rejas [steel window bars] had been unceremoniously ripped out of the rendering into which they had been bolted, the plastic rawlplugs still dangling on the bolt threads. Not were these units directly beneath an occupied unit but the unit at the opposite end of the block targeted, a distance of just 12m, was also occupied. Some noise cover would surely have been necessary. The brass of these bastards!
We have a different type of security gate on order, not a concertina type which some folks think are a bit fiddly to use, but I took the opportunity to get Carl to fit bolts to our vulnerable persianas [window shutters] and locks to the same windows.
A rather better greeting this morning, before we had been deflated by being made aware of the latest burglaries, was this misty dawn along the Jalón valley that greeted us.
As you can see, the sky looks less than settled and we are, indeed, expecting a weekend of biblical rain but I am in no doubt as to which greeting I prefer.