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Last updated at 12:25 BST, Friday, 10 June 2011

'Thief' hides inside luggage in Spain


10 June 2011

Police in Spain have arrested a man who stole valuables from people's luggage while they were on a bus heading for Barcelona. The police found the thief inside a suitcase in the luggage compartment.

Adam Mynott


The six-foot man fitted his body into a suitcase


Click to hear the report


For weeks police were puzzled by repeated thefts from suitcases firmly locked inside the luggage compartment of a coach travelling between Girona Airport and Barcelona.

After one journey when bags had again been broken into, one of the passengers pointed out a large, suspicious suitcase. Police opened it and to their amazement found a man curled up inside. With the help of an accomplice, who was also arrested, the six-foot contortionist had crammed himself inside.

His friend bought a bus ticket and put the case into the luggage hold. Once the bus set off the man in the case clambered out, opened other suitcases in the hold looking for valuables. Before the bus pulled into the stop in Barcelona he had zipped himself back into his hiding place. Police are reported to have described the crime as an 'open and shut case'.

Adam Mynott, BBC News


Click to hear the vocabulary


puzzled by

confused by something because you do not understand it

firmly locked

closed tightly and securely with a key

broken into

opened by force rather than using a key

pointed out

showed a fact or thing to other people

curled up

moved all parts of his body into a small round shape, not stretched out as it would be normally

an accomplice

a person who helps to commit a crime


person who can bend parts of their body into awkward positions, sometimes with the aim of fitting into a very small space


put a lot of something into a small space

clambered out

climbed out

open and shut case

crime which can be solved or explained very easily; here, the phrase has been used as a joke because the crime involved a suitcase, which can be 'open' or 'shut'

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