Friday, 10 June 2011
Bus Drivers Talk To The Suitcases
'Two men have been charged with robbing a tourist bus in a series of scams reminiscent of the film Ocean's Eleven (Graham Keeley writes). The alleged thief, 5ft 9in (1.70m) tall, squeezed into a suitcase that was loaded into the luggage compartment of a bus from Girona airport to Barcelona and had 90 minutes to break into other bags.
Police were tipped off after an employee noticed a man speaking to a suitcase.'
Now this highlights a couple of issues. As a bus driver who sometimes drives on the continent, nothing surprises me anymore. Having been conditioned to lock your bus everywhere you stop, for the fear of having an illegal immigrant or two leap on and hide, and then face a possible £2,000 mandatory fine per stowaway, this story is not out of the ordinary. For anyone who has been to Spain this is just another inventive scam, one step up from the gangs who hover around the markets fleecing tourists with their 'Spot the Lady' games, where a ball is placed under one of three upturned cups.
The really intriguing bit, I find, is the fact that someone worries about somebody talking to a suitcase. This would not be a factor in England because bus drivers are always talking to their suitcases, frequently shouting or swearing at their bulk and weight. Over the last decade, we have taken a leaf out of the Americans book and have invested in larger and larger cases. People start packing 'big' now from an early age. The average schoolchild on a two day trip to an outward bound centre tends to pack more for a two week stay.
So the next time you see a bus driver talking to a suitcase, don't worry. It's all quite normal. His mate won't be inside the case. That is unless he is taking his wife on holiday.