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New "Crime in Barcelona" thread

New "Crime in Barcelona" thread

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Old Sep 5, 09, 2:30 pm
  #1  
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New "Crime in Barcelona" thread

Since the older thread has been closed…

There's no doubt that Barcelona is rife with street crime, like pickpocketing, bagsnatching, and mugging. Yes, it is a safe city, as long as you stow your stuff safely and keep physical contact with it. Otherwise, it has more likelihood, compared to many other cities, of disappearing. Let me back that up:

As a researcher of global street crime (and one who loves Barcelona as a destination), I can say that visitors to the city have a higher than average chance of experiencing theft. Sad but true, and documented with examples here: http://bobarno.com/thiefhunters/2008...t-crime-today/

Someone mentioned Rome in the other thread. Rome is pretty high too, but concentrated more on public transportation (Bus 64 is called "the Heaven to Hell Express). Naples is huge in theft and huge on warm welcome (why I call it the City of Hugs and Thugs: http://bobarno.com/thiefhunters/2008...f-pickpockets/ ). And St. Petersburg is another lovely destination where caution is vital: http://bobarno.com/thiefhunters/2008...ets-and-thugs/

I can go on, but I'd rather say that it's wise to learn a few travel-safety basics: dress down, carry only what you need, stow your stuff in body pouches, be alert to "good samaritans," and bring a little dose of skepticism on your trip.
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Old Sep 8, 09, 10:51 am
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Thanks, I will keep this in mind on our upcoming trip. I am a bit concerned about my DSLR camera, but also don't want to sacrifice a chance to take some photographs...just have to handcuff it to my wrist I guess
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Old Sep 8, 09, 12:35 pm
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I'm in Barcelona right now, and I definitely concur that street crime in the tourist areas is, in my opinion, quite extreme when compared to other major cities in Western Europe.

All cities have street crime problems, but Barcelona really has an epidemic, based both on personal observation and historical data.

Police presence on La Ramblas is excellent, and there are many many police officers in the tourist areas in general. However, this does little to deter the thieves, it just makes it easier to report a crime.

Two days ago, I had a typical group of scammers try to pick my pocket on La Ramblas before I even got to breakfast. This was the "take a picture with us" trick, where they have a couple cute girls run up to you and try to take a picture with you, while their two male companions circle behind you. I saw the guys approach from the rear, and made it clear that they were in for a fight, and the entire group promptly dropped the act and moved on to the next target.

Unfortunately yesterday, my traveling friends were not so fortunate, and one of them had their purse snatched. They both had their passports in that bag as they were on their way to the airport at the time, and they're now stuck here until their Embassy appointment on Thursday, and subsequently whenever they can book another flight back to the states.

But I do want to say - don't let this discourage you from visiting Barcelona.

Every city is going to present street crime problems. Barcelona may have a serious problem in that department, but it's one that is manageable.

Lock up your stuff in the safe in your room. Wear a backback instead of a purse. Keep your wallet in your front pocket. Most importantly - don't put your bags down under your table or next to your table while you're eating. La Ramblas is notorious for tableside bag snatching. Ask any police officer walking around the area - they will tell you that this is insanely common.

Generally - be smart, keep your eyes open. It doesn't have to preoccupy you, but be aware that you're just a little more likely to get your pocket picked here than you might be on an average trip to Western Europe.

Barcelona has a lot to offer. Don't let the pickpockets deter you.
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Old Sep 9, 09, 12:09 pm
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I Just came to know that under Spanish laws, if a pick pocket is caught, if cannot be sent to prison if the theft is less than 500€, only fined.

Now if it is more than 500€, they can be sent to prison for 72 hours.
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Old Sep 9, 09, 3:48 pm
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The only way they'll solve the problem is by deporting them but I'm afraid that's not in the cards.
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Old Sep 9, 09, 7:33 pm
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Good tips laid out by thebkguy. I may as well add one additional caution: watch what you put loose on table tops. For example, at a restaurant, you may put your phone on the table, your small camera, or your wallet while you're waiting for change. Same thing at an internet cafe: if you take out your wallet in order to use your credit card online, don't put the wallet on the desk.

Here's the clever trick. Someone comes along to your table and holds out something: a fan of postcards for sale, a map, a newspaper… He/she may mumble something, but then he's gone before you know it. Under the paper, he's clipped your item and leaves with it. Here's an example with photos of perpetrators. http://bobarno.com/thiefhunters/2008/06/swift-swiper/
Pickpocket "Kharem" had described "his invention" elsewhere on Thiefhunters in Paradise.
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Old Sep 20, 09, 6:45 pm
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Tripadvisor picks Barcelona #1 for pickpocketing

http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/tripadvisor/37974/
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Old Sep 25, 09, 6:44 pm
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I must say I love BCN

I fly to BCN something like 5 or 6 times a year for holidays/week-ends
and never ever something bad happened to me

(as I never had some problems in Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, NYC, Miami, Rio, Sao Paulo, Abidjan, Detroit, Buenos Aires...)
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Old Sep 26, 09, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by alanw View Post
The only way they'll solve the problem is by deporting them but I'm afraid that's not in the cards.
If by them you mean gypsies, I think you'll find they've been in Spain an awful lot longer than you have....

Didn't the Nazis have similar ideas about gypsies?
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Old Sep 29, 09, 2:30 pm
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Way out of bounds.

Originally Posted by Seat64A View Post
If by them you mean gypsies, I think you'll find they've been in Spain an awful lot longer than you have....

Didn't the Nazis have similar ideas about gypsies?
deportation is not equal nor similar in any way to extermination.

equating alanw's comment about thieves to Nazi ideology is pretty low.
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Old Sep 29, 09, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Seat64A View Post
If by them you mean gypsies, I think you'll find they've been in Spain an awful lot longer than you have....

Didn't the Nazis have similar ideas about gypsies?

"Pickpockets" was the context here and they come *all* flavors, so that was the referent I assumed (perhaps because I've been accosted by US expat pickpockets and would-be scammers in Barcelona).
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Old Oct 2, 09, 11:07 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Seat64A View Post
If by them you mean gypsies, I think you'll find they've been in Spain an awful lot longer than you have....

Didn't the Nazis have similar ideas about gypsies?
Gypsies can't be deported. They're either spanish citizens or Romanian (which is part of the EU now), so, basically they're entitled to more rights than an average american tourist...

Now, if we talk about deportation of illegal inmigrants that are breaking the law, that's another story
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Old Oct 2, 09, 11:09 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by thiefhunter View Post
Good tips laid out by thebkguy. I may as well add one additional caution: watch what you put loose on table tops. For example, at a restaurant, you may put your phone on the table, your small camera, or your wallet while you're waiting for change. Same thing at an internet cafe: if you take out your wallet in order to use your credit card online, don't put the wallet on the desk.

Here's the clever trick. Someone comes along to your table and holds out something: a fan of postcards for sale, a map, a newspaper… He/she may mumble something, but then he's gone before you know it. Under the paper, he's clipped your item and leaves with it. Here's an example with photos of perpetrators. http://bobarno.com/thiefhunters/2008/06/swift-swiper/
Pickpocket "Kharem" had described "his invention" elsewhere on Thiefhunters in Paradise.
I've seen this post already in 3 different (and non-related) threads...
Someone's looking for blog traffic?
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Old Oct 4, 09, 7:05 pm
  #14  
 
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Just attention, I think.
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Old Dec 17, 09, 7:54 pm
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Took a cruise from BCN in November. An elderly couple had had a precruise stay in BCN. Hailed a "cab" to drive them to the port. the driver hustled all their luggage into the trunk and he picked up the woman's hand-carryon. The driver took off, leaving the couple behind...a robbery. --I met the couple midway through the cruise. By then I am sure they were tired of repeating their sad tale...I didn't get any specifics.
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