Another Barcelona Scam

Old Oct 27th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Hi lincasanova, I agree with the touch of irony, I have news for those less naive, cleverer people: do not think you are that clever and that sophisticated....
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 08:53 PM
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I think we in the States are somewhat naive when it comes to pickpockets.It has been going on for years in Europe.The pickpocketes are,for lack of a better word, professionals-amazing!
Last summer I was on a Madrid bus on the Castellana and it was very crowded.Suddenly, a Spanish lady started screaming that she had been robbed.Unfortunately, it happened to be just as the bus pulled up to the bus stop, the doors opened and off jumped the thieves.Another crime I witnessed was at 8AM.I came around the corner to cross the street at Principe Pio and came across what I thought was abunch of kids in a scuffle.It turned out to be 2 teenagers who had tackled a man to the ground and robbed him.The taxi drivers who were standing around ran off after them .I truly was shaken up because I have never witnessed a crime taking place.
For quite some time I think Spain was just overwhelmed with this surge in crime and the police turned a blind eye.I have noticed a police presence in the Plaza Mayor and there are even police on horseback patrolling the busy streets.Last summer I couldn't find out what was going on but the police were there in numbers at the Plaza de Paja near the Cava Baja.
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 10:14 PM
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On the other hand, my wife and her sister walked the Camino and stayed in refugios with co-ed dorms. She never once felt afraid but would never stay in the same configuration in the States.

On one trip to Sevilla, maybe 20 years ago, we saw three streets crimes in 4 days. Last year I stayed on the Plaza Santa Ana in Mdarid and down by El Ravel in Barcelona and had no problems.

There is now a thread on this board about someone having their passports stolen in Paris.

That is why is called random street crime and one must be aware of one's surroundings.
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 10:19 PM
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worldinabag, thanks for posting this. Sorry to hear about what happened to your son! I have a few friends who have also lost their luggage/camera/wallet due to theft in Barcelona.
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 11:59 PM
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Hi Nancita

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm sorry to hear about your friends' misfortune too. I loved my travels in Spain and can't wait to return to this fabulous country. It is a pity that a handful of low life people spoil the positive reputation of the majority.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 02:10 AM
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It has been going for centuries in Europe (Oliver Twist was written in 1838) and also the US....

My Mum taught me how to keep my bag safe in London when I was a is something to be aware of, but not obsess about, I feel.
It's worse in European cities at the moment, but still happens in the US and many other countries too.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 02:50 AM
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The woman put her wallet down on a counter in a shop and someone grabbed it and ran. She had passports, cash and credit cards all in the wallet. The title "passports stolen in Paris" is misleading.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 09:31 AM
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I have never been pickpocketed, but I am not careless and just don't do things where I could be. I also am not so oblivious to my belongings as a lot of people are. Now, I don't wear a money belt in most places but I still have never been pickpocketed. FOr people who are careless and don't pay attention and don't want to think about this, yes, it is a good idea. I choose not to as I really hate them. Yes, sorry, they are uncomfortable. Wearing this thing around your waist -- well, frankly, it would not be very possible for me to wear such a thing at my waist as my jeans wouldn't fit.

There are some obvious things missing from that list, however. First, I think the idea of not talking to strangers would need amendment, as I do talk to them -- I do not talk to them on the street, however, nor much in the metro or train station, places like that where they are asking you stupid things, etc. I also do not agree that you are always being sized up for pickpocketing -- this is an exaggeration, although is more true in some locales and in public transportation, around tourist sites, things like that.

But what is missing, which is a very prime cause and what this kid didn't do -- be very wary about people who are accidentally spilling/dropping things, etc. This is just so obvious. I wouldn't ever pick up a dropped cigarette for someone, anyway, I don't get that. If someone drops it, they can darn well pick it up themself. This isn't the case of some overburdened little old lady in a train station, but some young guy drinking in a bar. Why would you help them pick up dropped things?

And of course, to carry around your wallet in your back pocket in a bar is really really asking for it.
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