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Monday, 14 May 2012

Unwelcome night-time swimming pool visitors.

I awoke with a start this morning and looked at the clock; it was 04:05 hrs. Natalie had been awoken as well and we could hear several loud voices very close to our house. At that time in the middle of the night we were of course very suspicious about people being about at that time. Because of the shutters on the windows of our Spanish house it is very difficult to discreetly see where the noise and the people are situated. If one raises the shutters the rattle of them immediately alerts those responsible for the noises that they have been noticed.

Amongst my concerns were that attempts were being made to break into our, or close neighbour's, house, or steal or damage a vehicle.

The easiest way for me to see what is happening around our house is to go up to the enclosed solarium on our top floor as there aren't any shutters fitted there.

Our Community has a communal swimming pool which happens to be next to our house. This (swimming pool) is surrounded by a 2 metre high wall on three sides and our boundary balustrade wall on the remaining side, with the only entrance gate being locked at all times.

I was totally taken aback to see that there were three teenagers sitting in the communal pool area chatting away as if they had not a care in the world. One of them was sitting on the edge of the pool paddling his feet in the water, the other two lounging on the poolside metal chairs. They would have used these as stepping stones when they climbed over the wall. None of them were family members of residents of the Community, not that this mattered as the area is out of bounds after 21:00 hrs.

I had no intention of approaching them to tell them to get out of the pool area, which is private property. I immediately telephoned the Policia Local to request their presence and assistance in removing the unwanted visitors. It was a coincidence that as I was making my telephone call that a police vehicle passed close by as presumably part of a routine patrol. The teenagers spotted it and calmly ducked down a little to make sure they couldn't been seen. The height of the surrounding walls made their action unnecessary.

Despite of my minimal Spanish language ability, my message was understood and within a very short period of time, it seemed ages but was actually less than 10 minutes, a police patrol car arrived. The culprits in the pool area, realising that their presence had been noted made no attempt to scarper over the walls to leave the area but waited for the police to open the locked gate with the key I had given them. The three amigos calmly exited as instructed. They did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They gave some feeble excuses to the two police officers, I assume as I couldn't fully understand their rapid Spanish, as to why they were in trespassing in the pool area. I gathered that they said that they lived in the neighbouring Community. They were told to move on and headed for it, disappearing as if going home. The police had no interest in recording any personal details of the youths. This seemed strange. Why were they in a private pool area at that time of night? Would this have been the case if the three had not been Spaniards? Or were they already known to the officers?

I doubted their story as I did not recognise them as living close by, having lived in our house for the past six years.

The police offices quickly left, without any attempted explanation to myself, to presumably continue their patrol that I had interrupted.

I knew something wasn't right and decided to remain on watch in our solarium for a short time.

Having waited a few minutes to give the police time to be away from the vicinity the three youths emerged from the Community, they went into, with one of them pushing a bicycle that he didn't have before. He walked a little way along the road away from our house. The other two turned and walked back towards our house and the pool area. I thought we were in for some more hassle. However they passed by, crossed the road towards the rough ground opposite the front of our property and collected three bicycles that they had hidden in the long grass. They then turned and headed off towards their mate. That meant they now had four bikes between the three of them! They carried on towards the far distance and disappeared into the rest of the night.

It was 04:45hrs when we settled back in bed and turned out the light. It took some time before I slept as I remember seeing 05:10 hrs. on the digital clock.

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