Caught in the act
Have-a-go-hero Briton foils holiday villa burglary
BRAVE Austin Yexley sprang into action when he surprised a burglar in a Costa Blanca holiday villa and helped bring the bandit to justice.
The have-a-go hero – a former soldier – grappled with the intruder and only let go after being bitten in the struggle.
However, Austin and partner Louise did manage to raise the alarm and praised the police for a “fantastic” response. Local Police officers were at the Calpe villa within three minutes and the Guardia Civil had a suspect in custody shortly afterwards.
Sadly, two Kindles, a pair of Ipods, and sets of headphones are amongst £600 of belongings missing and £150 in cash, making the couple concerned the burglar had an accomplice.
The experience ruined their intended “relaxing” 10-day break but Austin said has not put them off coming to Spain and they hope to return to the Marina Alta next year.
Austin and Louise, who run a gardening business in Kent, thought their luck was in when they were upgraded from an unsuitable villa to a larger one in the Almendros area of Calpe. “We moved and thought we had hit the jackpot because of the upgrade.”
After lazing around the pool during the day they wandered to the shops to stock up the fridge and returned an hour later.
They saw the kitchen door was open and believed a maintenance man had called to fix a cooker fault they reported earlier but noticed it was still broken.
Austin went to check upstairs, climbing an external staircase. “All my clothes were stacked on a table; this guy was walking towards me on the tele- phone. I used to be in the Army and he was wearing my green tshirt with ‘HM Armed Forces Veteran’ on it and wearing the Superdry watch I had bought on the plane.
“I asked what he was doing. He said he used to live there and it was his family home. It was just a ploy and he pushed passed me.
“I trapped him downstairs in a corner and grabbed hold of him in an arm lock. We had a bit of a struggle.”
Louise managed to get stolen aftershaves from the burglar’s pockets but he managed to break free and run off, Austin giving chase and shouting for neighbours to call the police.
“Local Police were there within three minutes. I rang the holiday company to say we had been broken into and they sent someone round who spoke English and explained everything.”
Austin said the Guardia Civil arrived and he was able to identify a suspect from a picture on a mobile phone – confirming his allegation from the back of a police car and later at the police station.
“He gained entrance by prising open an upstairs door. He had even drunk a beer from the fridge... the police said his fingerprints were everywhere,” said Austin.
“I did have some bruising from the struggle and he actually bit me; there were teeth marks on my arm but fortunately it didn’t break the skin.”
Later the couple attended court in Dénia and made statements. However, the experience was “traumatic” and Austin added: “It’s turned out to be a terrible holiday. It was not very relaxing having to stay in the same villa and waking up every night at the slightest noise.”
Former soldier Austin Yexley