Catalan daily publication Ara had a story yesterday (May 13, 2012) about a trio of Romanians posing as police and robbing tourists in Barcelona.
They were dressed in blue jackets, caps and had walkie-talkies, which they used to speak with a pretend control room.
Of the three, only two dressed as police. The third pretended to be a tourist and made the initial approach to the target, asking some direction on a map, or similar. It was then that the two fake police approached and asked for identification. The ploy allowed them to take money and property of value from the unsuspecting tourist.
Plain clothes agents from the local Mossos d’Esquadra police force had been tracking the individuals and were able to catch them in the act near Sants train station.
When they swooped they found that the thieves had extracted €855 from the tourist. The money was returned to the victim and the trio were arrested.
The detainees were named as Florian C., 32 year old Romanian nationality, E. Ion, 32-year-old Romanian nationality and resident of Barcelona and C. Cristian, 39 year old Romanian nationality and resident of Barcelona. The first two had 11 prior arrests between them. They were charged in this instance with pretending to be police and for theft.
The three were brought to trial, were fined and then immediately released.
And that ladies and gentlemen is why we have hundreds of thieves on the streets of Barcelona daily.