Posted by: vlibrizzi | July 16, 2009

True Crime Story from the Streets of Valencia

It is a balmy Thursday evening in Valencia, Spain. Two innocent American tourists are enjoying dinner at Creperie Brettone while engrossed in a serious game of hangman on their paper tablecloth, when suddenly…the two girls seated next to the couple say, “Hey, did you have a bag under your table?  I think that guy just took it!”

The man jumps up from his table, and the girls run outside and point to a running man, now about 70 yards away, and say, “That’s the guy!”

Without a second to lose, the man bolts down the street after the robber.

They weave through the streets of Valencia, the man gradually gaining on the thief.

To attract attention to the crime, the man yells as he sprints, “Stop that guy!” (in English, mind you. No time for language conversion when you have a thief to catch)

The man soon sees his opportunity. The thief rounds a corner where another person on a bike is coming from the other direction.  The man yells to the biker, “Stop that man!”

At that instant, the thief drops the bag on the ground and runs off into the night.

The man runs up to his bag, checks to make sure his most prized possession (his camera) is inside and intact, and then saunters back to the restaurant.

Trying to keep the streets of Valencia clean, one thief at at time…all in a day’s work.


DSC_0887On the scene reporter:  V. (enjoying a special Valencian horchata earlier in the afternoon)








The hero of the day: your very own C. (photo taken only moments after the crime)





Other photos at the scene of the crime:



C. seated at the table where the camera bag was ripped right from under his legs. In this photo he is speaking to the owner of the restaurant who is giving him a condescending “Don’t think I didn’t warn you about pickpockets” look. Suffice it to say, we won’t be returning to Creperie Brettone anytime soon.









And here’s a photo of one of the streets that C. had to run down to catch the thief. This particular view is from the end of the street. At the other end, in the distance, you can see Creperie Brettone (the scene of the crime) on the left.


  1. The beginning of my comment is lost in cyberspace, so I repeat, what a tale. So glad your fitness level allowed you to pursue the thief, and think so you could call out along the way.
    Great that your camera survived the ordeal.
    I am going to have your Dad and sister read this entry now.
    Great story, well told.

  2. Crazy! Congrats to him for getting your purse back – good initiative 🙂

    I have to admit, though, I think the traditional inverted pyramid structure would have worked better for this hard news reportage 🙂 Jk.

  3. All that b-ball and squash playing really payed of for Chris, eh? 🙂

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