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Beware of pickpocketing on baecelona's metro

Beware of pickpocketing on baecelona's metro

Jun 26th, 2015, 01:01 PM
  #1  
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Beware of pickpocketing on baecelona's metro

I'm sure this subject has been covered before, but use great caution on the metro in Barcelona. We witnessed a couple who had been pickpocketed and then had our kindle and iPad stolen from my backpack the next day. My backpack was securely fastened and it happened so quickly that we never knew what happened.

Remember, if you lose an iPhone or iPad, you can contact the Apple Store and deactivate your device so that the culprits will be unable to use them and take any of your info off them. If you have wifi on your device, the Apple Store may be able to trace it. Not sure if authorities would get involved though.

Luckily we keep money, passports and credit cards all in our money belts. Beware!
dgunbug is offline  
Jun 26th, 2015, 01:06 PM
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I guess you have to say it could have been worse. But that is a rotten thing to happen on vacation.
Sher is offline  
Jun 26th, 2015, 03:14 PM
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Barcelona us the European hotbed of pickoockets
Percy is online now  
Jun 26th, 2015, 06:53 PM
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Yes, this issue has been harped endlessly. If you're wearing a backpack and using the metro, wear the thing on your chest, not on your back.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2015, 07:21 PM
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I'm sorry this happened to you. Do enjoy the rest of your trip.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 26th, 2015, 11:31 PM
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I'm sorry this happened to you.
The ineffectiveness of this type of advice is self contained in the posting.

The advice here is

Beware

as well as other posters "Beware of your surroundings and you are ok" Perhaps some of us have extra eyes in the back

However, the reality, as noted is:

My backpack was securely fastened and it happened so quickly that we never knew what happened.

How does one protect oneself by being aware from something that happens so quickly and not even aware of what happened?
greg is offline  
Jun 26th, 2015, 11:47 PM
  #7  
kja
 
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"How does one protect oneself by being aware from something that happens so quickly and not even aware of what happened?" -- one can at least heed the advice noted by Robert, above, which is offered nearly as ubiquitously as the warnings about pickpockets in Barcelona: If you're wearing a backpack while on the metro, wear it on your chest, not on your back.

Sorry for your misfortune, dgunbug. I'm glad you had been using money belts and knew to contact Apple ASAP.
kja is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 12:43 AM
  #8  
 
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Beware of pickpockets in Barcelona period.



How does one protect oneself by being aware from something that happens so quickly and not even aware of what happened?

Surround yourself with easier marks.
sparkchaser is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 02:01 AM
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dgunbug,

Thanks for sharing your unfortunate experience as a reminder to the rest of us - I hope the rest of the trip goes more smoothly.
progol is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 03:18 AM
  #10  
 
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I'm sorry this happened to you OP. However I would always advise people not to use backpacks, both for the reason they are a bit of a pain in crowded spaces - you often see people being knocked by them as the wearer turns round, oblivious to how far their pack sticks out - and also because they are potentially the most easily accessed form of bag by thieves. Many packs have pockets on the back which can be opened without the wearer noticing, or top zips or poppers that aren't covered.

Years ago I followed someone over Tower Bridge in London and several pockets and pouches on the back of their pack were all hanging open - I told the wearer and of course they'd not even noticed their backpack being dipped into behind them.

I think people have a romanticised view of backpacking round Europe or are so paranoid about security back at their lodgings that they feel the need to carry everything round with them all day when actually losing something whilst out and about or having things pinched in the street or at a café are much more likely than having something pilfered back at the hotel. Backpacks are for walking the wilds or camping. Don't use them in cities. Get a cross body bag or messenger bag if you want to take valuables like electricals around with you.
RM67 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 06:00 AM
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"My backpack was securely fastened" but I suspect the zippers were not locked.

I am sorry for your misfortune and thank you for your warning.
Dukey1 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 07:00 AM
  #12  
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Should be the worse thing that happens. Money and other valuables are secure. I should have know better than to let my dh hold my bag for even a few minutes (while barely anything in it - just bathing suit and electronics for reading on the beach), I let him as my back was sore. My husband must wear a target on his back as this is the third time he's been pick pocketed - years ago in Madrid when he caught the culprit read handed, again in India and this time! Oh well...still having fun and now in Naples, Italy. Great city and yes...I'm fully aware of its reputation. Unfortunately...the good stuff is already gone. Waiting to return home to replace items since the dollar is worth more there.
dgunbug is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 08:22 AM
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Even if the zippers were locked, thieves can slice into backpacks and waist bags.
Mimar is online now  
Jun 27th, 2015, 09:52 AM
  #14  
 
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In crowded situation the backpack MUST be worn on the chest - not behind you where you can;t see anything (like a red flag to a bull).

Better yet, get a messenger bag and wear cross body and don;t bother with backpacks at all - since they really shout tourist.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 10:21 AM
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I think men carry a lot of stuff on their backs in lieu of purses, which women can have (or larger totebag type purses). To be honest, when I am traveling and doing a day trip somewhere, so I may have a sweater or light jacket with me, and umbrella, sunscreen and some other things -- I take a very lightweight daypack when does have straps that can be used on your back. Or you can sort of carry it like a tote bag. When walking a lot, it really is easier and doesn't tire you as much. I don't carry if people think I'm a tourist or not. This isn't as huge a backpack as a lot of people, especially men, seem to wear around as tourists, though.

It really is not as comfortable to be lugging around a messenger bag all day instead of a backpack.

There are plenty of backpacks that don't shout tourist as many locals use them also--they sure do where I live, and I know they sell them and use them throughout Europe, also. Those are those sacklike things that just have cord straps on either side, basically, to use as a "backpack" even though they are really just a nylon/polyester big sack. Nike makes them, for one. They just are pretty flimsy.

But the OP gives a good reminder to people who carry stuff in backpacks on metros. Being closed doesnt mean anything secure, they just open them. And a lot of men seem to think keeping things in front pockets is a magical preventive of pickpocketing, also, and it's not.
Christina is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 10:38 AM
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I just walked with a small foreign tourist group through the central market of Valencia the other day. Fortunately NOTHING happened but one couple insisted on wearing their backpacks on their back even after we had a fairly long, informative chat about keeping valuables safe, especially on this next visit.

I think it is just really hard for normal people to understand how professional and FAST these thieves are. They are REALLY good at what they do.
lincasanova is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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I've been using a Coronel Tapiocca (man) bag for years. It carries eveything I need when out and about. When dressing up, I use my more upscale and smaller TUMI bag, which will fit under a jacket.

The backpacks Christina refers to are mostly the smaller computer or utility bags, hardly what a tourist would be packing around.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 12:33 PM
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The bag I used had wire meshing so it could not be cut into. It was really the size of a day bag but is more comfortable worn on the bag. Lesson learned though. I had a false sense of security.
dgunbug is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 03:07 AM
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I often use a little pack, sort of like this, but without the smiley face:

http://www.dhresource.com/albu_10229...waterproof.jpg

I carry just my water bottle, maps, a sweater, and other inexpensive supplies in this little backpack. These weigh down my shoulder bag, so it's more comfortable having the weight distributed on both shoulders. If someone steals something from it, it's no big deal. In fact, though, the thing is almost impossible to open without taking it off my back, so it would be very hard to steal something from it. In any case, no one has ever tried.

I don't know about other European countries, but slashing bags is rare in Rome, Florence, and Venice. There are so much easier pickings that a pickpocket has no need to risk being caught with any obvious tools of the trade.
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