Just before the thief tried to steal my iPhone
Valencia Travel Blog› entry 292 of 374 › view all entries
We arrived in Valencia just after dark around 6.30 pm coming from Murcia and Malaga. We drove towards our hotel following the route given by the GPS. I had been to Valencia a couple of times but I had never stayed in the city center before and I was actually looking forward to staying in one of my favorite Spanish cities on this trip as well.
We headed for Plaza Ayuntatiento and Hotel Melia Plaza Valencia, the city was crowded and there were loads of activities going on. I was enjoying all the lights of the city and when we passed the beautiful bullfighter arena it was all lit up in white and blue.
There was a friendly young guy behind the counter and he quickly found my reservation and we were given a room on the 4thfloor facing the square. I was stunned by the quality of the hotel and the view from the room taken into consideration that we paid 66 euro for a 2-person room in the city center of Valencia.
We took a couple of beers out from the minibar and picked out the bottle of gin 47 proof that we had purchased on the boat from Tangiers to Tarifa for the formidable price of 10 euro. We enjoyed a couple of drinks and just smiled of our luck visiting yet a fantastic mayor Spanish city in fantastic weather.
We emptied our drinks at went outside to enjoy the evening and the view of this wonderful city, but I needed to get some food because I was more than hungry, so while my friend walked around I went just around the corner of the hotel and entered San Patricio that is a very nice bar also located on the Plaza Ayuntatiento. The main reason that I entered the bar was it serves food and it looked really cozy. Inside there are loads of decorations to watch as they have collected or copied all kinds of commercials and plastered the wall with them.
The bartenders are sweet and most of them speak English as well. I went and sat down at one of their tables in the back of the bar from where I had a pretty good view of what was going on in the bar and in its kitchen. There were loads of police coming to the bar and I think it was a hangout for them as there were nice and cheap food and 3 quite sweet girls working behind the counter.
I ordered one of their burgers and a beer. The beer came quite fast but the burger took its time so I had to order another on when my burger arrived. The food was nice and I emptied my beer and to my camera and went out and took a fair deal of photos of the neighborhood. After a couple of hours I decided to head back to the hotel again and wanted to end the evening with a small beer at the place where I started off. I therefore went into San Patricio again and this time the bar was only hosting drinking people but there were not that many there.
I decided to hang around at the bar and ordered a small beer standing next to some policemen drinking coffee and water, I on the other hand ordered a second small beer as I wanted to go up and sleep shortly after. The police left the bar and a guy around 30 years took their place and started to make with the head waitress poking her ponytail.
I was sure that they knew each other quite well, if otherwise I thought she would have gotten quite angry. I emptied my beer and were considering if I wanted yet one or I should call it a night and go next door and up to my bed. The guy next to me left the girl and passed me smiling and patting my shoulder and jacket. When some does that my alarms are all turning on! It is only my friends that hug me or touches me and no one else.
I felt something around my pocket and I was getting really alerted. I had something to drink but I was sober in a split second!! I have always had fast hands and I quickly felt my jacket pocket and could feel that I was missing something was missing. I looked towards the guy’s hand and saw the red cover of my iPhone between his fingers. I quickly caught his and broke it backwards and took my phone out of his hand!
I was angrier than I had been for long time, so my left hand caught the guys jacket under his throat and lifted him from the ground with my left hand. I am not a small guy but he was. I shouted really loud “what the fuck are you doing stealing my phone” – he could not answer and I would not listen. My next worry was that these guys never work alone, so I shouted that everyone should stay away.
I had also my Canon to keep an eye on so I put my phone in the pocket as I at the same time took my Canon in my right hand. The guy was still hanging on the wall with my stretched left hand and he was not touching the floor. He was beating my chest with his hands but I threaten to hit him with the camera if he didn’t stop. I jelled at everyone to stay away put some tried to get close to me. I was not sure if the guy was carrying a knife or anything but he was pacified with he treat of my camera hanging over his head. My Canon with battery and lens weighs more that 3 pounds so it is a quite heavy weapon.
I was getting loads of adrenaline in my body at this point and I didn’t know that they guys coming near me were friends or enemies so I shouted to all of them to stay away and I would beat them with guy that was hang in my left arm on the wall. I shouted to the bartenders to call the police but they were just scared about the situation in their bar and I felt that I could not control the situation much longer.
I therefor through the guy on the floor and he ran out of the door as fast as he could. I went the head waitress and said that is was some nice friends that she had. She said that she didn’t know the guy and that she was friend with the police! At that point I didn’t believe her and I was really angry – more that I had been for years! She asked if she still should call the police and I said, “fuck yes” because I wanted them to book the asshole that stolen my iPhone.
The police came quite fast and nobody came close to me before they came – I guess that I had scared the shit out of all the guests by threaten them with beating them up with the pick pocket guy that was hand 15 cm above the ground in my left arm – I still wonder from where I got the strength but the adrenaline can move wonders. The police guys remembered me because I had been standing next to them in the bar while they were there 30 minutes earlier and I think that it bought me a lot of credits because I had smiled and nodded at them during their stay.
They took my report helped by one of the sweet bartenders and I went outside still all worked up and quite angry. You could wonder why I was so angry when he didn’t succeed but just two days earlier one of my girlfriends had all her stuff stolen in New York, when someone stole her bag. She lost wallet, papers and everything and I had to help her with tickets and all in order that she could get home. So this guy had not just stolen from me – he had stolen from everybody.
After the police report I went into my hotel and asked if they had a couple of cold beers because I needed to calm down, I was way too geared up. The hotel receptionist could not help me but told me that the police wanted me to come out on the street again. They had caught the guys and they were Romanians and they had been two. I only recognized the guy that had been hanging in my left arm.
The policeman told me that they were in an impossible situation because they could not stop these guys. They would be booked tonight and out tomorrow – and especially this time when it only had been an attempt since I caught the guy. The following day they would be on the streets again stealing from other tourists.
The only satisfaction that I had out of my catch was that I had been faster that the thief and that I had scared they shit out of him, while he was hanging on the wall with my camera 50 cm from his scared eyes. I was on the other hang been surprised of the power that I had when I was angry and afraid. When I went up to my room some minutes later I found my friend sleeping safe and sound in his bed not knowing anything about my ordeal and it just made me laugh.