While it is busy right now at the beginning of summer, things can get a little quiet out of season on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, as can be understood from a strange incident that occurred a while back. I just wish I had my camera with me at the time.

A casual stroll along the beachfront

I was taking my dog for a walk one afternoon in the winter sunshine when suddenly the air was filled with sirens. “Bee-bah-bee-bah.” Within seconds, a police tow truck almost wiped me out while taking a corner at high speed, just as I reached the end of a pedestrian crossing. While I managed to scramble to the pavement safely, I did wonder, even in Spain, what type of incident could lead an emergency tow? As the vehicle had turned a corner, I – being ever-inquisitive – decided to follow.

What I saw as I turned that corner made my jaw drop

I was suddenly confronted by a huge number of flashing lights; they shone out from police cars, police scooters, at least one ambulance and yet another police tow truck. All the vehicles had their sirens going as they pulled up to the scene and eventually the whole two-lane street was completely filled with official vehicles of all kinds. As a citizen journalist, the whole thing piqued my interest. I said to myself, “Wow, there is a major crime going down, right here, right now.” I just had to find out what on Earth was going on.

That familiar adrenaline surge ran through me as I approached onlookers in the street, but it turned out no one spoke either English or Spanish. It seemed the majority were Scandinavian or German visitors – all as curious as I, but unable to tell me anything worthwhile. The police officers didn’t exactly look approachable, strutting around looking officious as they tend to do, so I couldn’t pluck up the courage to ask them. Finally, as I got closer, I saw two young men, about to climb into a police vehicle.

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One of them had his hand over his eye, apparently in pain. The other opened the police car’s trunk and put something inside. Let’s say, it didn’t look like a whole load of criminals was in the process of getting arrested and dragged off to jail. That was it, nothing to see here, so I shrugged and left the scene, feeling somewhat disappointed.

Mystery solved

As I turned the corner at the bottom of the road, I asked a man working at a bar if he knew what had happened. He said two young guys had robbed a shop close by and he saw them run around that particular corner a few minutes earlier, quickly followed by the sound of sirens. It turns out the two guys stole around 80 euros’ worth of items from the shop, leading to what looked like the entire Fuengirola police force – plus emergency services – doing their utmost to solve the heinous crime.

But that’s not all. As my dog and I strolled down the sunny Costa del Sol beach promenade moments later, two fire engines went roaring by, lights flashing and sirens blaring. You’ll never guess where they were heading.