"We've never seen anything like it"
Beach bars have become the new target for thieves in Salou. The recovery of billing for these businesses, after two almost blank campaigns, has been marred in this final stretch of the season by a series of thefts that they have been suffering at night. This October, there have been at least a dozen, all of them concentrated in the final part of the Llevant beach, the closest to Espigó del Moll, and some also in Ponent.
Those affected agree that this season has been the worst in terms of thefts. However, in summer there have not been so many episodes and it is now, when the traffic of pedestrians at late hours along Paseo Jaume I has been reduced, when the robbers are acting more. «There is always some robbery or they try to enter you, but this year we had not experienced it until now. I've been on this beach for 30 years and I've never seen anything like it," acknowledges Martin Balfegó, manager of Niko's Beach, one of the affected establishments. “We have the record for the entire beach. They have entered six times and four of them in the last three weeks. The last two times they didn't even take anything », he explains.
In most cases, the least important thing is the loot, which is no more than a few bottles of liquor or the change that may be left in the box. Even so, the owners lament the situation of insecurity that they are experiencing lately, in addition to having to continually invest money to change the closures and fix the damage left by thieves in their wake.
“They force the doors with some kind of lever and break the locks and even the wood. It is already the third insurance that I change this season, ”says Martin, who suspects that it is always the same thieves who act on the Llevant beach. “On one occasion they opened the warehouse and took 13 boxes of drinks. Another time they took the cash register drawer and I found it in the water. We have a camera, but they know where it is and every time they enter they turn it over, "says the manager of Niko's Beach.
The House of Illusion beach bar, right next door, also suffered one of these robberies last Friday night, when at least three of the beach bars were broken into. «They broke the insurance and took the tip jar, which had about 150 euros. We leave the box empty every night, but it is as if they knew where we kept the tips, "say their workers.
It is now, when late-hours pedestrian traffic on Passeig Jaume I has reduced, that the thieves are acting more
In El Calamar, one of Salou's historic beach bars, they have suffered three robberies in nine days, the last one during last Sunday night. “The first day they took money. We didn't leave anything in the box, but they found the bag with the change from the hammocks and stole it with about 300 euros, "explains its owner, Anna Prat.
In the other two entrances, the thieves took bottles of alcohol, but only those that were sealed, as well as a radio. "I do not understand what is happening. It doesn't make sense for them to go into the beach bars, we don't have anything. We have had to tighten the closures,” adds Anna.
The Mossos d'Esquadra have confirmed to the Daily that they are investigating this wave of robberies in Salou beach bars, but that at the moment there is no detainee related to the case. In this sense, they detail that the investigation focuses on gathering information on all the complaints filed so far in order to establish the route followed by the thieves, who would act in a group. Police sources also point out that this type of criminal takes advantage of these weeks of low season to break into establishments and take valuables that they can then resell.
In all cases, those responsible for the beach bars have reported the thefts and trust that the insurance companies will take care of the losses caused. In this sense, Mossos agents have traveled to the affected beach bars on several occasions to collect clues and collect fingerprints in order to find the thieves.
Last days before promoting a new concession
Salou beach bars have permission to extend the season until the first weekend of November. Even so, some of them have already closed and many will start to dismantle after the Rally, which takes place this weekend. This season will be the last of the current concession, which was launched in the summer of 2013, with the complete renovation of the image of the 29 beach bars on Salou's beaches. Initially, the concession was for a period of nine years, but it was extended for one more season due to the pandemic. This winter, the City Council will have to put out the management of all the beach bars for the next few years.