Officers from Marbella LocalPolice joined in the chase. / sur

"Follow them!" Taxi involved in chase following luxury watch theft in Puerto Banús

Local Police, who also joined the pursuit, eventually arrested three men - British, French and Italian - following the incident which read like a film script

JUAN CANO Malaga

The start of the incident sounds like a joke and what happened was worthy of a film script, but this was real life. An Englishman, Frenchman and Italian man have been arrested in Marbella following the violent theft of a luxury watch, because things didn’t go as they had planned.

It all happened on Tuesday, 21 June, when a French citizen, 42, was about to get a taxi after buying a pizza in Puerto Banús. As he walked towards Calle Jesús Puente three people came up behind him, pushed him hard, snatched his watch, a replica of a CVSTOS valued at 16,000 euros, from his wrist and ran off.

The victim of the attack was not going to let them get away with it. He got into a nearby taxi and said to the driver “follow them!”

A few minutes later, in Avenida José Banús, they saw a police car and the taxi driver momentarily pulled up alongside. The victim of the robbery told the Local Police officers what had happened, and the police car then joined the chase.

At first, they thought they had lost sight of the thieves, but then they spotted them in Avenida de las Naciones Unidas, just before the 'rhinoceros' roundabout. One of them ran down that road, and the police followed. At that point, the man took something out of his trouser pocket and hurled it to the ground: it was the stolen watch. The man, a 37-year-old Italian, was arrested for robbery with violence.

The victim then recognised another of the thieves in a Mercedes car. He ran towards it, leapt onto the bonnet and managed to smash the windscreen. Officers in another police car which had been called in to help arrested the driver, a 38-year-old Englishman – for suspected involvement in a violent robbery.

There was a short-sleeved blue and green T-shirt inside the car, which one of the robbers had been wearing when they committed the assault. CCTV cameras had also recorded him taking it off as the three men ran away.

While the police car was still in the area of the roundabout, a third individual appeared who fitted a description given by the victim. He started walking faster when he spotted the police and when the officers got out and went towards him he ran off towards Calle Segismundo Moret.

The police ordered him to stop several times, but the man – a 32-year-old Frenchman – ignored them. Finally, as he was heading towards the dual carriageway and possible danger, the officers fired two shots into the air to intimidate him into stopping. He did so, and was arrested.