By RUTH SHARPE
TWO SERIOUS incidents took place on unsuspecting English Algarve residents last week, resulting in the assailants getting away with money and valuable belongings.
The first attack occurred on the night of November 10, in Praia da Luz where Leanne Chapman, aged 20 and friend, Lianne Davies, aged 28 were walking along the road that connects Luz to Burgau, a well lit and fairly busy route.
At around 9.45pm, a car, believed to be a white Renault 19, slowly drove past the two women, who were out walking dogs for some friends. The driver and passenger, both presumed by the women to be Portuguese, slowed down as they passed the women, looking at them suggestively, according to the victims and continued driving.
As the women continued walking the car turned around and pulled up next to them. Leanne, presuming that they were after directions, stopped as one of the men got out of the car from the passenger side and approached them.
Suddenly, without saying anything he pulled out a gun, “similar to a police pistol” and pressed it into Leanne’s back, twisting it to apply more pressure. Not knowing what to do both women froze and didn’t say anything.
The man began grabbing for the bag Leanne had strapped around her front. When Lianne realised what he was trying to do she told Leanne to hand him the bag, which contained all of her valuables, including cash and mobile phone.
To avoid a struggle Leanne let go of the dog lead that was tangled in the bag, which the man took before returning to the car, which drove off in the direction of Burgau.
In shock, both immediately returned to Hugo Beatty’s bar where they had previously been with their friends and called the police. They stayed at the police station late into Friday night watching CCTV footage. The car was spotted on film, but not clear enough to make out a number plate.
Neither woman could provide police with a clear description of the men as the street lighting was at such a position that it shaded their features and both were well covered with puffer jackets and hats. All they could say was that they were both male in their mid 20s.
A break-in had occurred at a nearby house at 9.30pm that night and police believe that the two occurances were linked.
The women returned to Lagos police station the next day and were taken to Portimão station for further questioning and identification, but no further progress or arrests have been made as of yet.
The second serious incident happened in São Brás de Alportel on November 16, when an elderly English couple were attacked and robbed in their house. Two men, said to be of Eastern European origin and in their early 20s, entered the couple’s house in the remote village of Juncais at 7pm and attacked the man, who was in his 70s.
They then demanded his wife show them where they kept their valuables. The woman took the attackers to their safe and gave them the code. Inside the thieves took 3,000 euros in cash, mobile phones and other valuables.
The man later had to receive treatment in Faro District Hospital due to injuries sustained by the violence of the attackers, but he is not in any serious danger, according to a representative from the local police force.