Met officers on Barcelona stag do tackle thief who targeted restaurant 'full of UK police'

23 April 2024, 15:37 | Updated: 23 April 2024, 15:40

Officers caught the thief while on a stag do
Officers caught the thief while on a stag do. Picture: Social media

By Emma Soteriou

Met officers on a stag do in Barcelona have tackled a thief who targeted a restaurant full of UK police.

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Sergeant Eren Emin, 30, was on his stag do with four other police officers when a man jumped over the restaurant counter and began grabbing electrical items.

The group of officers chased the man around 50 metres down the road before detaining him and waiting for Spanish police to arrive.

"Never off duty...even when in another country!" he tweeted. "Unlucky to the person who decided to commit burglary with a table full of UK Police sitting there. The male was pursued and detained nearby.

"Police arrived, statements taken and male in custody. Now back to my holiday."

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"I think policing is more of an instinct than anything else," said Sergeant Emin, who is based in Enfield.

"I'm a police officer. It's my job. Wherever we are, whether in Spain, it doesn't matter, I have to do what's right."

He added: "We were in a restaurant on the main strip, waiting for food to come, and [the thief] made his way over to the bar area where the counters are and then he jumped over the counter and that's when he caught our attention.

"He started to ransack the tills and take electrical goods such as the iPads and iPhones, whatever else was there, before he made his way around and then sprinted outside of the restaurant and instantly we stood up and gave chase.

"As soon as he saw me he started running and obviously I didn't have a chance to think, 'Oh, wait, I'm not a police officer, and I'm not in the UK, I'm in Spain'. I'm a nobody here, but to be honest, that didn't even cross my mind.

"It was a case of just getting him stopped. It's wrong. What's wrong is wrong. Common sense has to apply here as well and that's why we got him detained as quickly as possible."

Officers tackled the thief to the ground until local police could arrive.
Officers tackled the thief to the ground until local police could arrive. Picture: Social media

The officers recovered everything that was stolen and took the man back to the restaurant where they waited until Spanish police arrived.

"As soon as they arrived, one of my colleagues informed them that we were all police officers and then it was high fives all around, is how I would describe it," he said.

He said restaurant staff were "really shocked because they didn't expect the whole table of their customers to get up and get this chap and recover all their goods".

"I'm quite known within my organisation for arresting people off duty - here in the UK, wherever I go, I always end up attracting or coming across crime, which is really strange, so for me, it's just another day," he added.

"Some others might see it as, 'You're a lunatic, you've got no protective gear, what are you doing?', but I've done it numerous times before."

When asked whether he is ever able to switch off from work, he said: "No, and it's the same for my other colleagues as well.

"They're really well-respected police officers and collectively that's why we all get on so well. It's because we're all like-minded and committed."

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