In the early hours of Saturday night in Spain, 49 year old Benidorm taxi driver, Antonio López Mesas, stopped to pick up what he thought would a regular passenger near the bus station, explaining that “He looked like a normal guy, I grabbed his suitcase and opened the boot to put it in”, but that is when a normal working day developed a sinister twist, as, “I felt a hard shove and fell to the ground”, before the young man then jumped into the driver´s seat of the taxi, which had been left with the engine running, and fled in the direction of Valencia.
Immediately reporting the theft to the police, Antonio´s next call was to the Radio Taxi control room, prompting around 20 of his colleagues to immediately respond, with Antonio joining 5 of them in two cars, who were able to trace the stolen taxi through the GPS equipped vehicle.
They began a pursuit, whilst at the same time providing the information to the National Police and Guardia Civil, both of whom had responded to the call for help, which resulted in the fugitive being successfully stopped by the security services at kilometre 555 of the AP-7 motorway, much to the surprise of the 22 year old thief.
The young man obeyed the instructions to stop the vehicle without trying to evade capture, and upon being questioned by officers said that he had stolen the vehicle in order to quickly get back to his mother in Valencia, as he was concerned for her welfare on account of hearing about “fallen meteorites in France”.
The Guardia Civil officers were confused by his response, but believed he may have been suffering from a psychiatric condition. The six taxi drivers arrived just minutes later, and were also surprised by the explanation of the thief who may well think again before trying to steal a vehicle with a tracking device.