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lincasanova Oct 27th, 2014 01:42 PM

Careful now in train stations even after security
Just a head's up. A close friend's elderly mother was robbed past security getting on the Euromed in Valencia going to Barcelona. A well dressed group of women came up to them and kept asking them where car 7 was.. pointing here and there and trying to engage them.. which they did.. unfortunately. When my friend's mother went to climb up onto the train she realized her purse had been stolen from her.

So now these thieves are getting tickets to get INTO the secure area and then mixing with the crowd that is leaving the station once they have robbed people.

Beware, all. When my friend arrived in Barcelona to also make them aware of the situation, and to reissue the stolen ticket, the office was full of foreigners that had been robbed at Sants station.

Unfortunately, when my friend tried to catch the train back to Valencia with the re-issued ticket, somehow it had been cancelled since the thieves were able to cash in the one they robbed ( in spite of having denounced the theft) and were given a refund, thus invalidating my friend's re-issued ticket. Another good reason to pay with a credit card instead of cash. The thieves could not have gotten a refund so easily, if the person had asked for an ID, if it had been purchased with a CC.

Sad story. I felt things had settled down a bit but it seems this is a never-ending story. Most upsetting to my friend and her mother was the lack of emotion and concern the authorities anywhere demonstrated.

ekscrunchy Oct 27th, 2014 01:46 PM

Linda thank you for the warning. Terrible.

PalenQ Oct 27th, 2014 01:55 PM

thanks for the heads up - Barcelona never seems to get any better but I would have thunk the train station and its anti-terrorist security mentality would be different.

Robert Reich, former Sec of Labor in the Clinton Minstration, was robbed of his brief case a few years back at Barcelona's Airport - right at the check-in counter - he had to return to the U S Consulate to get a new passport and a loan of funds.

It seems no place in Barcelona is safe, sadly. One thinks that with an onslaught of robberies in Sants train station some under cover cops posing as naive tourists might help - but one would think that nothing is being done at all.

DebitNM Oct 27th, 2014 01:59 PM

Will be extra vigilant....I hate that this happens, it takes something away from the joy of traveling and sense of adventure, worse that it was an elderly person

annhig Oct 27th, 2014 02:06 PM

My DH almost lost his wallet on the metro in Barcelona, and someone nicked my coffee off our table in Valencia, which I thought might be a diversionary tactic, but it turned out just to be a local nutter.

So sorry about your friend's mother, lin - they clearly spotted their target, didn't they?

as you say, we need to be vigilant.

lincasanova Oct 27th, 2014 02:29 PM

She says there was hardly anyone around them.. only these three well dressed people who started jabbering with her mom and she was trying to be helpful. Never keep all your cash in ONE purse/ place. Spread it around.

Her purse was turned into the valencia station minus the 500E cash and 400 AUS$ cash. All CCs and passport and Ids were recovered.. just hours after it happened. The railway ticket was refunded to thieves 6 hours later. I am going to help write a claim on that because she told the ticket agent in Barcelona she had been ROBBED of the ticket, so I do not understand HOW they gave her simply a COPY of the ticket robbed when , as we now see, she was still out the money because they didn´t CANCEL that original ticket.

Oh.. and the station needs a court order for her to review the security cameras.

annhig Oct 27th, 2014 02:43 PM

Oh.. and the station needs a court order for her to review the security cameras>>

don't the police do that? [though I'm not suggesting that the UK police would be any better, they'd probably do it, but after the tapes had been wiped!]

lincasanova Oct 27th, 2014 03:29 PM

you would THINK so.. really discouraging, time consuming.. no wonder so few people BOTHER to report anything except to recoup on their insurance if they are lucky.

lincasanova Oct 27th, 2014 03:30 PM

P.S. Many people may not be aware, but you cannot access the Euromed or AVE track area without a ticket.

Dukey1 Oct 27th, 2014 04:00 PM

What does "security" have to do with someone who is very skilled and uses their BARE HANDS to steal something from somebody?

lincasanova Oct 27th, 2014 04:05 PM

I meant that this was in the "secure area" where only passengers can go after their ticket/ luggage have been scanned. Tickets on these trains are not cheap.. like metro or bus tickets.. this is the high speed AVE and Euromed track area. I would just not be as worried about thieves once in THERE, and might have my guard down.. just trying to make people aware. that's all.

lincasanova Oct 27th, 2014 04:21 PM

Perhaps I haven't used the term correctly in the title.. I was referring to an AREA.. not a guard.

rialtogrl Oct 27th, 2014 04:41 PM

-One thinks that with an onslaught of robberies in Sants train station some under cover cops posing as naive tourists might help-

There are, at least on the train. I was just in Girona staying at a VRBO place with 2 apartments. In the other apartment, there was a woman from Louisiana - we got to talking. She told me that the day before when she arrived, she was on the train from the airport to Sants station, and someone pickpocketed her. She didn't even know, she was talking to a friend... there were some plainclothes cops on the train and they saw what happened and caught the thieves! So this woman had to go to the station and make a statement, and because she was carrying over 400 euros (I think that was the amount) the police were able to detain and prosecute the thieves.

I told her she was the luckiest victim I had ever heard about. And it does seem like the police are trying, at least in this case (though it was on the train and not in the station.)

Sorry to hear about your friend's mom Linda. :(

lincasanova Oct 27th, 2014 04:45 PM

For once, a success story!

rialtogrl Oct 27th, 2014 04:56 PM

Hopefully it is a trend that will continue.

Mimar Oct 27th, 2014 05:27 PM

I can't believe the amounts of cash these women were carrying. That's what ATMs are for.

Robert2533 Oct 27th, 2014 06:10 PM

Some people are forced to carry around (too much) cash if they are paying for their apartment when they arrive, and it seems it's something theives are well aware of, putting the situation in there favor. Another good reason to keep away from such cash businesses.

As far as the elderly mother being robbed goes, carrying around cash was never that unusual in the past, we've all done it, but society has changed somewhat with the entrance of certain countries into the EU.

rialtogrl Oct 27th, 2014 07:28 PM

Thieves know when people are renting an apartment? Interesting.

I think it is just more that thieves see tourists and figure they have cash, regardless of if there is an apartment involved.

Robert2533 Oct 27th, 2014 07:39 PM

Why else would someone, a tourist, be packaing around a large amount of cash? To go shopping? Hardly.

rialtogrl Oct 27th, 2014 07:51 PM

So when "carrying around cash was never that unusual in the past, we've all done it" what were you doing? Renting an apartment I guess.

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