A Belgian couple vacationing in this Spanish seaside town found themselves face to face with the man and woman who stole their car back in Belgium

Police said the stranger-than-fiction story begins a few weeks ago outside a Belgian courthouse where a man about to be questioned over alleged sexual misconduct with minors escaped police custody with help from his girlfriend, waiting near the building with a gun.

Fleeing on foot, they came across another couple sitting in their car.

The fugitive and his companion forced the couple out of the vehicle at gunpoint and took off.

But fate saw fit to bring the two couples together again some 1,500 km away in Guardamar del Segura, a city on Spain's southeastern Mediterranean coast.

While soaking up the sun Monday, the victims noticed they were sharing a patch of beach with the car thieves.

They quickly called the police and as the wife waited for the officers to arrive, her husband went off in search of the stolen car, which he found parked nearby.

Without a second thought, the car's owner slashed the tires to prevent another escape by the thieves, who were detained moments later by police.

The fugitives were transferred to Madrid to await their extradition to Belgium, police said.