I also have a story to tell which hopefully will serve as a warning to other readers who may be tempted to park their vehicle in the large car park near MacDonalds in Vilamoura.
My partner and myself had parked our car at lunchtime on a Sunday, taken a stroll around the marina, bought the papers and returned to the car park, which was unusually quiet and half empty.
No sooner had we got into our car when a small silver car with two males inside immediately parked right in front of us. We noticed that the driver stayed in the car with the engine running, keeping the front passenger door open. I then noticed in my wing mirror the man who was the passenger doing something at the back of our car. I immediately turned to my partner and said we should get out of the car park as quickly as possible as I sensed that this was a scam. Fortunately, we were able to make a quick exit.
It all happened so quickly – two minutes at most – and we thought we had been lucky and escaped intact. However, the next day we discovered that one of the rear tyres had been slashed twice with a knife or other sharp instrument.
Speaking to friends, it seems that this is a common way of mugging people – first they slash the tyre, follow their victims, wait for the tyre to go flat and when they stop to have a look, move in.
SHIRLEY ANDERSON, by email