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photo Tara Benwell Instructions:
  1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
  2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
  3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
  4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
  5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
  6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

Contortionist Arrested in Spain

dateline: 14 June 2011

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • contortionist: a flexible person who can bend in many ways
  • shuttle bus: a bus that takes travellers to a specific destination, such as a hotel or an airport
  • accomplice: partner in crime
  • rummage: search for something
  • struggle: to have difficulty handling something
  • pick (a lock): to undo a lock with a sharp tool that is not the key

Contortionist Arrested in Spain
A man has been arrested after police found him in a large suitcase at an airport bus depot in Spain. The 5’10” contortionist had been stealing property from the luggage of other passengers while the shuttle bus was in transit to Barcelona. His accomplice, who was also, had been placing the heavy suitcase on the bus in Girona, and picking it up at the end of the line. Between the stops, the thief would unzip himself and rummage through other luggage searching for valuable. He would then pack himself back in with the stolen goods before arriving at the bus depot. Police began to investigate when bus riders started reporting stolen items from their . After watching a man struggle with a very heavy suitcase, they checked his bag and found the thief inside. The thief had a, a cell phone, and a sharp tool for undoing zippers and picking locks.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where did the thief hide before stealing the items?
  2. What was the role of the accomplice?
  3. Why were the police investigating this bus route?

Discussion Question: Thieves are always thinking of new ideas to get away with stealing. Have you heard of any other tricks like this one?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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