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Pickpocket Protection in Spain in Summer

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Mar 8th, 2015, 11:17 AM
  #1
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Pickpocket Protection in Spain in Summer

Hello.

I might be moving to Spain in a few months time and I've been reading a lot of information about it online. One of the most concerning things to me seems to be the prevalence of pickpockets. Now I've lived in Europe before - in Paris for a few months - and I spent a lot of time in Paris and traveling to a few other cities, including Barcelona and I fortunately was not the victim of any theft. Still it seems like the pickpockets in Madrid, where I will probably be living, seem to be more adept and prevalent than in other places. In the past, I was mostly there in winter so I wore a coat with inner pockets most days and I usually kept my camera, wallet, ipod touch and cell phone in the inner pockets which made things relatively easy.

Now I know I'll be in Spain when it's a lot warmer and I won't be able to wear a coat so I want to know how best to protect my valuables (besides just not having them on me). I usually wear a small crossbody bag with multiple, zippered compartments. I keep my items in different sides of the bag and my cards in a small inner pocket. I'm considering getting a money belt but that still doesn't explain how to protect my wallet or my camera (small point and shoot) which I will be accessing constantly. This is really concerning me so if you have any advice as to how to protect yourself in summer, that would be great. I know there's always a risk but as I'll be living there at least for a few months, I'd like to be able to enjoy the city, relatively worry-free.

Also I've been lurking on this site since before I went to France a few years ago and I know you all give great advice and have helped me a ton before so thank you.
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Mar 8th, 2015, 11:27 AM
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One thing I can offer - do not carry more than you need for the days' activities. The cash you'll need, 1 credit card or 1 ATM card.

Not sure if you are M or F, so style of bags may vary to your likes. My husband and I both have one of these bags and we like them alot. I also would not use a wallet with everything in it. I would store each thing in a different spot in the bag.

http://www.pacsafe.com/everyday-bags-handbags.html
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Mar 8th, 2015, 11:36 AM
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Thank you for the info. I actually am very careful to only take a specific, limited amount of money with me when I leave the house to deter myself from spending too much. I decide depending on what I know I'll be doing that day and I'm not working for that much money so my activities or the restaurants I go to tend to be quite cheap.

I am female, quite petite and young-looking. As such, I always try to look as though I know what I'm doing so I look like less of a target. However I'm a POC so I know that I will probably stand out more as a foreigner which I know will also work as a negative with regard to pickpockets.

One of those bags actually looks just like the one I usually use. I am considering getting one before I go. Glad to hear you like them. This is the one I mean:
http://www.pacsafe.com/citysafe-cs20...t-handbag.html
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Mar 8th, 2015, 12:00 PM
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What's a POC ?
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Mar 8th, 2015, 12:04 PM
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{person of color}
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Mar 8th, 2015, 12:10 PM
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No, no, you wouldn't be anymore of a target than anyone else.
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Mar 8th, 2015, 12:27 PM
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Ah, well, that's reassuring. I didn't mean that I would be targeted because of racism, by the way, but just because I assumed that I would be more likely to be seen as a tourist. In Paris, French people often assumed I was French until I started speaking but I doubt that will happen much in Spain.
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Mar 8th, 2015, 06:03 PM
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Does anyone else have any suggestions?
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Mar 8th, 2015, 06:53 PM
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Thanks for the pacsafe bag links!
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Mar 8th, 2015, 07:34 PM
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I think you'll not look like a typical tourist since you will be able to look like you know where you are going and likely won't be carrying a guidebook in plain view. I think you likely have good street smarts having lived in Paris and other areas. I hope you enjoy your adventure!
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Mar 8th, 2015, 08:44 PM
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Carry your bag, away from the curb side.

Do not stop and engage anyone.

Only take a copy of your passport with you leave the hotel.

When not using your camera, carry it like bandolera.

You are a tourist and you will look like a tourist. Tourists walk differently, they have different eyeglasses, show, belts, hairstyles, and watches. Professional thieves can tell the difference.

We have been to Barcelona numerous times and nothing has happened. But when we were in Istanbul, I had my pocket picked, even though I put my wallet in my front pocket.
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Mar 8th, 2015, 08:58 PM
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If you lived in Paris, and have been to Barcelona, I don't think you need to worry about Madrid. Just use the same street smarts and you will be fine.

People who are not paying attention are the targets, and they can tourists OR residents. I have noticed that many women in Madrid, when in outdoor cafes keep their purses in their lap.

Enjoy Madrid...
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