Spanish Police Say Contortionist Hid Inside Suitcase to Raid Baggage on Bus

A contortionist thief hid inside a suitcase to raid the baggage on a Spanish airport bus, El Periodico newspaper reported Wednesday, citing regional police.

Officers, alerted to a series of thefts on the service between Girona airport and Barcelona in northeastern Spain, said the man's accomplice would zip him inside the bag, load it into the baggage compartment, and then board the bus.

During the 90 minute journey, the flexible felon would emerge, squirm around the hold, rifle through the bags of his more conventional fellow passengers looking for their valuables and then get back inside his suitcase. The haul included laptops and a GPS unit.

One victim became suspicious when she saw the apparently anxious accomplice rushing to retrieve his suitcase, and then proceed to have a conversation with it.

A few days later on June 3, a bus driver noticed a passenger struggling with a heavy suitcase and called in the cops. Officers opened up the bag, which they said felt unusually warm. Inside was a sweaty man, nearly 6ft tall, equipped with a headlamp, a sharp tool and a cell phone.

"They'd done their homework," the head of the bus company Jose Luis Martinez said. "They are very large baggage compartments, with very few obstacles, where he could move around easily," he said.

The bag man and his on board accomplice -- identified as Polish nationals Krzysztof Grzegorz M, 29, and Jouoastaw K, 31 -- were arrested on theft charges. Police were looking into whether the pair operated the same scam on other bus routes in the area.