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Tell Me The Truth -- Barcelona Pickpockets/Scams

Tell Me The Truth -- Barcelona Pickpockets/Scams

Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 11:59 PM
  #81  
 
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<i>Remember: These aren't your normal everyday gypsies, etc... these are people without jobs for a long time & desperate: stealing is now their job,</i>

Considering that as a culture, Roma/Gypsies have been known for hundreds of years as folk for whom thievery is considered honorable would it not be safe to say that stealing is in fact their job?



Disclaimer: I have no problem with Gypsies/Roma as long as they aren't trying to rip me off or steal from me, but that applies to any other group as well.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 04:06 AM
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I should add that one of the presenters of the Channel 4 programme was an English guy who was described as an 'former pickpocket' so I guess it's something people of all nationalities get up to from time to time.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 04:12 AM
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How many pockets do you have to pick before you can call yourself a former pick pocket?
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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The mystery is why the police get away with ignoring it. If I can see it so can they>

exactly - why can't the cops simply use undercover dweeb-looking tourists as undercover and bus all those folk?

Seems like cops just look the other way - why do not the locals protest the lack of security in the heart of town - this reputation is hurting tourism to Barcelona for sure.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 09:38 AM
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This poor horse is long dead and we probably should stop beating it now. BCN is an awesome place and should be enjoyed as often as possible.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 10:32 AM
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"this reputation is hurting tourism to Barcelona for sure." Not really? The cruise line business brings in millions of tourist and only a small portion become victims, but enough to sustain the hard working pickpocket.

The reason the police don't do much is because the Catalan laws are so liberal. From what I understand, the threshold for prosecuting a felon is high, and any arrest for a minor violation requires a mountain of paperwork.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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<i>this reputation is hurting tourism to Barcelona for sure</i>

I seriously doubt that. Have you seen the number of questions here about Barcelona?
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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To say that Barcelona is no different that any other city when it comes to pickpocketing deserves the Understatement of the Year Award.

I have travelled to Europe at least twice in the last 20 years; been to Spain more than 12 times. Nowhere in the world have I ever seen, experienced, and witnessed a flat out "robbery open season on tourists" as in Barcelona...and I LOVE Spain. Police totally looks the other way. I even made it part of my afternoon entertainment in Las Ramblas to sit and watch the pickpocket action; cannot tell you how many times I warned people of the "swarm" they had around ready to act on. Often wondered if I was able to prevent pickpocketers, how come the City of Barcelona was doing close to nothing about it?

Go in a Barcelona Police sation if ever curious-- dozens and dozens and dozens of victims every single day for years now-- arrests? Yeah, right! You tell me truly WHERE that is a daily occurrence for years....

I have never said this about a beautiful city: Barcelona can fell off the map and I would not missed it...a lot scum has found fertile ground.

To those that think Barcelona is just like any other city I am glad because it means that you will be an easier pick than me next time....
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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<i>I have travelled to Europe at least twice in the last 20 years; been to Spain more than 12 times.</i>

Sense. This sentence makes none.
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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We were in Barcelona last week for two days. Spent several hours moving up and down Las Rambles over the two days. Couple hours in the subway and still didn't see the Barcelona described by V2. And this was our fifth visit to Barcelona and still have yet to all of the pickpocket activity. I don't suggest that pickpocket activity doesn't occur but doubt if it is a rampant as some would like to you to believe.
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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o those that think Barcelona is just like any other city I am glad because it means that you will be an easier pick than me next time....>

I agree and anyone saying they doubt there is much of a problem only makes the problem worse - realize that this city is just about the worst city in Europe for street crime - and here not just pickpockets but downright mugings - Google Muggings in Barcelona and see how many hits you get - do that for other cities and them compare.

No not everyone gets victimized but those who do not think or know there is a problem are easier targets.

fmpden is a veteran traveler always on his/her guard I think - I have never been pickpocketed anywhere in Europe in my four decades of travel only because I am always on guard when someone comes up - unfortunately it is for no good reason. In Barcelona I am on double guard.

Why did the tourist office lady on the main royal square tell the American in front of me to take off his fancy necklace - she said it would make her a target of pickpockets - the problem is real and anyone who tries to minimize it by their own few trips is doing an injustice to others who them may take that as Gospel - anyone who knows anything about Barcelona know that here is a problem more real than other cities in Europe.
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 12:00 PM
  #92  
 
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-cut-short.cfm

4 years old but a Fodor's thread from someone who was mugged and the situation seems to be little different.

Heck even Robert Reich - the former Treasury guy for Clinton I think had his baggage stolen while waiting in line at Barcelona Airport to check-in - his passport and valuables were inside and he had to go to the American Consulate for a day to get new travel documents. So from the time you land here be on guard.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 03:44 PM
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Before my wife and I (both over 65) visited Barcelona, I read many of the accounts about pickpockets and other tourist-preying activities that occur in Barcelona. I lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn for 12 years but I can tell you, reading these accounts really had me concerned ... I bought special travel wallets, brought a special vest with many pockets, practiced hiding my camera ... the kicker came when I read a review someone posted suggesting that the Barcelona airport was so dangerous that you should fly into Madrid and take the train to Barcelona.

I don't doubt that bad things have happened and probably continue to happen but in nine days in Barcelona and another week in Figueres I did not see one example of a problem -- no one running for the police, no duffel bags dropped in front of me, no faux bird poop thrown on me, we were never surrounded by groups of thieving (or otherwise) children, no pockets were picked.

Instead my experience was that this was just exactly like any other big city -- you have to keep your wits about you and look like either you know what you are doing or you are going about figuring out what you are doing. People were friendly, happy, and fully occupied with their own lives. Other than one sign that said "Tourists go home" I didn't see an instance of anyone expressing anything other than courtesy and patience to the thousands of tourists the city puts up with (and who nourish the economy).

I did see quite a police presence on La Rambla and it seems possible that in the last few years the police have made an effort to address whatever problems there were. And people seem to clutch their purses and other bags rather more closely than they do in the U.S.

Just for the record, we were out walking late to and from dinner every night. We stayed at the magnificent Avenida Palace on Gran Via and we took the subway everywhere including wheeled luggage to the airport and train station. The Passeig de Gracia station was clean and easy to navigate. (We also spent a week on the Left Bank in Paris ... I wouldn't say that felt as safe as Gran Via but there were no problems of any kind there either.)

Please note: this isn't to say "relax" so much as "don't let these warnings spoil your trip like they almost spoiled mine."

Good luck and enjoy a fantastic city.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 04:44 PM
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We four who visited two Aprils ago had absolutely no problems in Spain; we did all our own transportation via trains Barcelona-Madrid-Cordoba-Seville then rented a car for Granada and Marbella. We walked the Ramblas, took the Metro, walked and walked, and same in Madrid but there we walked only, did not need taxi or metro. I had read a lot about crime, so purchased a great inexpensive smallish hobo bag, slash-proof, and into which you do not need a wallet, my cards & money were kept in side zippered pockets. Not only is it slashproof, the zipper across top has a latch to fasten it closed. My husband probably wore his ScotteVest, good look finding anything in there! Our friends wore typical spring jackets and she had a cross-body (non-secure) purse. No problem. Back in Rome about 6 years ago, had my camera stolen from back pew in church in Trastevere area, yes that church everyone goes to see. Camera not valuable, but the card w travels was! Anyway we were out walking in Barcelona probably by 9-10 in the morning, but definitely not after 10-11:00 at night, staying in the University area which we liked a lot; did not go to Port area, and to Gothic Qtr one drizzly day, not at night. Overall, no more gypsies than encountered in France or Italy frankly, though I cannot vouch for statistics quoted above. We were prepared and fortunate, amen. Hope you are too!
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 07:02 PM
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Barcelona is worse than the rest of Europe. Keep your money and valuables in a under-clothes money belt. If a stranger comes up to you to ask for directions, run away, because they will unfold a map and then someone will run up and steal the bag that you will invariably will set down to help them.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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WHAT THE HECK. LOL!

TROLL SPAM ALERT LOL!
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 07:44 AM
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<i>TROLL SPAM ALERT LOL!</i>

That's obvious. Did you report it to the editors?
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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Yes I did. Not much response but....
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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I too reported this-- before you two posted-- so why is it still here?
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 03:14 PM
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<i>so why is it still here?</i>

Because it's a weekend?
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