Three separate attacks on foreign residents

by SOPHIE MCCARRICK [email protected]

A Swiss couple has been attacked and robbed in their home, the third victims of similar attacks on rural properties in just over a week.

According to Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manhã, four intruders used force to enter the house in Bordeira, Faro, on Monday afternoon.  

The two 55-year olds were inside the property at the time and were beaten, tied up and locked in a room with their mouths taped.

They were then threatened with a firearm, hit around the head multiple times and forced to provide their bank card pin codes.  

The assailants escaped in the couple’s car with bank cards and numerous other valuables.

The couple were still too distressed to speak to the press at the time the Algarve Resident went to press on Wednesday afternoon.

In a separate incident on Friday, February 24, a middle aged woman from the UK, who asked not be named, was beaten and robbed inside her property in Lagos.

The woman had returned to her home in a secluded and quiet area of Bensafrim, Lagos, at approximately 12.15pm to find three masked men ransacking her home.

She told the Algarve Resident: “When I arrived they had already found most of the cash that I keep at home. However, one of them spoke in English and forced me to lead them to all locations of my house that had items of value.”

The trio tied her hands together, beat her and threatened her with a gun before stunning her with a taser gun after she failed to present them with a safe.

“They insisted that I show them where my safe was but I do not have one at home. After beating me repeatedly and using a taser gun on me, I suppose in the end they just believed me.

“It was a horrible experience,” she said.

All three men wore scarves over their faces and spoke in Portuguese to each other but the victim could not confirm if they were Portuguese or not.

After taking her Portuguese bank card, they continued to hit the woman over the head and threatened her, forcing her into telling them the correct pin code of the card.

The robbers then fled the scene, leaving her tied up inside the house and taking with them two computers, an Ipad, several Ipods, jewellery, cash, a mobile phone and bank card.

It was discovered later that cash had already been withdrawn from the bank account on the same day of the robbery.

“As they had taken my phone and cut the cords to my land line phone, I had to get to the nearby road about 400 metres away to find help. It was there that I hitched a ride with someone that took me to a friend’s house, where I called the police, who responded immediately.”

She suffered from cuts and bruises that were treated at a local medical centre.

The Polícia Judiciária are currently investigating these crimes.

These latest incidents follow a violent gang attack on an elderly British couple at their home near Silves on February 17 (see Algarve Resident edition February 24) and another on January 5 involving a British woman who was alone at her home near Messines when three masked men entered the property, beat her up and stole several items.

Security expert and Algarve Resident contributor David Thomas of ISECA – Independent Security Agency said that it was important the culprits who committed these serious crimes are brought to justice as soon as possible.

He added that if anyone has noticed anything suspicious either before or after these incidents to bring this to the attention of police at their nearest police station as soon as possible. The smallest piece of information may well lead to a breakthrough.

“Although statistically this type of crime is still low, I am concerned at the number of cases which have taken place in the various areas of the Algarve over the last few weeks. Naturally, this has given rise to public concern.”

He added that he will shortly be meeting with the GNR and this matter will be raised with them.

The latest incidents bring to eight the total number of reported attacks on foreigners in their Algarvean homes since November last year.

Also read ‘Security: living in rural areas’ by David Thomas.