More thrilling Barcelona police action

In the communal hallway two Moroccans are hard at work extracting objects of value from a rucksack–they’ve got a mobile, cash, documents. I go into the flat, phone the generic emergency number, 112, and clock-watch.

A woman picks up and says hallo like she just woke up.
–Hello, I say, there are two thieves in our hallway taking stuff out of a stolen rucksack.
–Ah, she says, and thinks for a moment. Is it your rucksack?
–No, but that doesn’t matter. Can you send a car over?
–Who are the people?
–They are thieves. Do you want the address?
–How are they inside your flat?
–They’re not inside the flat. They’re inside the building. Do you want the address?
–OK, tell me it.
–It’s [an extremely well-known Barcelona street] number [whatever]
There’s a long pause.
–Can you just repeat the street name?
I repeat.
–No, there’s no street of that name. Are you sure you don’t mean [a vaguely similar-sounding street I’ve never heard of and which on subsequent inspection turns out not to exist in Barcelona].
–No, I don’t.
I repeat the name.
–Can you tell me which town you’re in?
–I’m in Barcelona. Are you going to send a car?
–I’m just going to put you on hold for a moment. Please don’t hang up.
On-hold music.
Another resident, popularly known as Gollum, descends the communal stairs silently, carrying the large sharpened screwdriver he retains for such moments.
I hang up. The thieves are long gone.

The most bizarre crime resolution I’ve seen recently was a group of Bangladeshi traders beating yet another Maghrebi thief. Some woman steps up and says, Please stop, I’ll call the police and have him arrested. This fails to generate much enthusiasm among the Bangladeshis, but they stop and she starts trying to interest the police in the case. No, no, sobs the thief, not the police, please, anything but the police. After trying for a while more she says, OK, and hangs up, and the Bangladeshis continue with the task in hand.

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