Caught in the act

Have-a-go-hero Bri­ton foils hol­i­day villa bur­glary

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS - By Jack Troughton jtroughton@cb­

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

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