Handbag thief got rich

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Handbag thief got rich
NOVELDA ROBBERY: Sneakthief arrested in Alzira (Valencia) Photo credit: Guardia Civil

ON December 19 last year, while Remedios Garcia was lunching with two friends in Novelda her handbag was stolen.

It contained €950 in cash, her car keys, credit cards, ID and a ticket for the national lottery on December 22, the biggest of the year.

“I hadn’t even noticed that the bag had gone until I went to get my mobile to take a photo with my friends,” Remedios told the Spanish media.

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“I freaked out and started crying, thinking about everything that had been taken.”

She reported the theft to the Guardia Civil, listing everything in her bag, including the lottery ticket whose number – 6095 –  she knew as she’d been buying it for the last 10 years.

Worse was to come three days after the theft when the number came up in the Christmas Lottery.  Remedios should have won €125,000 but instead it went to the thief.


With only the restaurant’s blurry CCTV images to work with, the Guardia Civil eventually traced the thief, a 52-year-old Peruvian with an extensive  police record to Alzira (Valencia).

He living in an apartment that he allegedly bought with the lottery winnings that by rights belonged to Remedios but although charged, he has now been released and awaits trial.


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Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.

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