I was robbed last night while walking home from a club at 3 in the morning.
I only realised that I had been robbed the morning after when I woke up at home and could not find my phones or wallet and had an unusual cut on my forehead.
I phoned my bank to block my credit card and they said that someone had tried to take out money from a cash machine in the centre of Barcelona until the machine had swallowed my card for entering the pin wrong too many times.
I also had my personal phone taken, a piece of prepay rubbish that I am not bothered about.
Also my work phone was taken. This was a beautiful Nokia C5 touch screen with internet enabled. When I phoned Orange to block it they could only block the sim because they needed the account holder (i.e. my employer) to block the phone. Orange also said that the thief had been sending multimedia messages all night at €1,20 a pop.
I can remember leaving the bar and walking up to the Placa Cataluña area where I was robbed. From then ’til this morning I have no memories and this weird cut on my forehead. I think someone hit me in the face by surprise to stun me then robbed me. I would have noticed two phones and my wallet being pickpocketed, because they were each in a separate pocket.
This morning I went to the police to report the robbery. I explained this story and they told me that I need to return with the following information:
1) Details of the movement on the bank card, where it was used, what banks and the addresses of the cash machines
2) Phone bill with the details of the multimedia messages, the unique IMEI number and telephone number.
Surely, if I give my bank details and phone number the police could find all this information and actually do something about it, like… locate the thieves using the phone? With 3G phones it is possible to locate phone to a 100 metre or less area in the centre of cities. That is what we call detective work in England. It’s like the police do not want to solve crime, just do their hours and collect their wage.
By the time I compile all this information the phone and my wallet will be long gone. Also in the wallet was an identity card with magnetic strip that allows the thief access to some fairly important IT installations in Barcelona.
The thief who took my mobile has friends with telefone numbers listed below and has enjoyed free phone calls today. Please feel free to call these numbers and politely ask them to return my phone and wallet plus the €46 euros I was carrying last night.
(Editors note: please be aware the mobile numbers listed here could be associated with other victims of crime.)
912521202: 9:58, 11:14, 16:44, 17:07, 17:08, 17:39, 18:16, 18:20.
605097654: 11:10, 11:33, 11:35, 16:34, 17:04, 17:05, 17:34, 17:49.
The police asked that I come back with details of the mobile phone (IMEI, phone number, call history etc…) and also of my bank card.
I phoned my mobile provider who gave me the following information of calls made, to what numbers and at what time, one of the numbers being a fixed line in Madrid and the other two numbers being mobiles.
I also did the same with my bank who told me that someone had attempted to take out money from my account in various bank cash machines in the Placa Catalunya area of Barcelona. Until on the 5th attempt to guess my PIN, the cash machine swallowed the card.
03:00 – 170 euros – La Caixa C/Cardenal Reig 11-13, 08028, Barcelona.
03:02 – 120 euros – La Caixa C/Cardenal Reig 11-13, 08028, Barcelona. (Editors note: we’re aware that this location and the next location aren’t close, but we have no explanation for the discrepancy.)
03:06 – 120 euros – La Caixa, Pl. Catalunya 7, 08002, Barcelona.
03:12 – 100 euros – Sabadell Atlántico, Ronda Sant Pere 13, 08010, Barcelona.
03:18 – Card taken by machine at Banco Santander, Paseo de Gracia 5, 08007, Barcelona.
I returned to the police station for the second time to try and report the crime and they told me that because it was a violent robery I had to go to the nearest hospital and get a doctor’s report stating that I had been hit on the head.
I protested that it was a waste of time as it was obvious that I had been hit on the head because there was a cut on my forehead, but I still had to go to the hospital.
In the hospital they did an x-ray of my skull and insisted I strip down to the waist so they could do an inspection despite me insisting that the only damage was the cut on my forhead. Two hours later I left the hospital and returned to the police station to try and file the report for the third time.
I explained to the police officer that I was robbed whilst walking home between 02:30 and 03:00 in the morning. I also said that it happened somewhere near Placa Catalunya. I said that I only realized that I had been robbed in the morning when I found my trousers empty of my two mobile phones and my wallet. I also said that I didn’t remember how I got home nor who had robbed me because it would seem that I was hit on the head and stunned. They asked if I had been drinking and I replied that I had had a few drinks but was not excessively drunk.
The police officer implied that I had lost my phones and wallet and that I had fallen over drunk, that way the report could be filed as lost property and not the more serious violent robbery. Fucking unbelievable.
She suggested that I lie on the report saying that two men attacked me and robbed me so that all the boxes on the report could be filled in correctly. I said that I was not going to lie on a police report and that she should put down what I said.
Further, I did not fall down drunk because my clothes were spotless. Further, as we can see from the bank and phone company information it has definitely been a robbery!
The police officer said that perhaps someone had “found” my phones and wallet that I had dropped or “lost” and had tried to use them. I then said that also would be a robbery.
The police officer also insisted I give a contact phone number and I replied that it was a bit useless as my phones had been robbed. I offered my e-mail as a contact but the police officer insisted saying that the report was not valid without a phone number nor would it accept an e-mail as a contact detail. Finally she put the work phone number of the robbed phone assuming that work would renew the sim and phone and not just give me an alternative phone.
Finally after much arguing, I managed to get the police officer to file the report as it actually happened, from what I remember and accept the additional information that I had supplied. I also listed the contents of my wallet in great detail listing the most important items below.
1) Work ID card (with magnetic band that gives me access to some sensitive telecoms installations in Catalunya)
2) Work expenses debit card
3) Personal Bank debit card
4) 46 euros of money
I know that a 3G phone can be tracked down to its location, and perhaps a more prompt and enthusiastic reaction from the police would have located my phone, wallet and the thieves who robbed me.
Now, with the slow reaction of the police all they will get are some blurry pictures from bank security cameras of someone covering their face with a hood to try and take out money. The phone will just be stripped down for spare parts and never seen again.
I would like to know from the Mayor why as a citizen of Barcelona I should vote for him in the next election? Why do I pay taxes to a useless and uncooperative police force? Why when I handed the police a whole pile of supplementary information about a crime did they not act on it but just file it away? What will the Mayor personally do to sort out the problem of pickpocketing and petty crime in the centre of Barcelona?
I started to try and report the crime at 17:00 this afternoon, I finished doing so at 00:30 this morning. Why is the process of reporting a crime so difficult? Why are the police so useless, is it corruption or incompetence? Perhaps it’s both?