Barcelona Tourist and Expat Guide – I'mMovingToBarcelona



You may have already heard many stories about pickpockets in Barcelona. It is a pretty common issue here and it feels like the authorities are totally incapable of putting it to a stop.

I have a lot of friends who experienced theft on the metro, on the beach or even while driving their car. These are the most typical situations where you need to keep your stuff close to you.

It’s not that it’s easy to get robbed, actually it’s pretty easy not to, you just need to follow a few basic rules.

Instead of describing them, let’s have a look at this video for advice. Lucas recently found it on the Internet and we thought it is well worth sharing with our readers. Thanks Eliana!

Pickpockets in Barcelona, here´s what the video description says:
“Police estimate about 150 pickpockets roam Barcelona’ s subways on any given day. Armed with a whistle and pepper spray, Eliana Guerrero, an unemployed Colombian immigrant, prowls Barcelona’s underground for pickpockets and warns tourists about the dangers.”

And now for a few stories from our friends:

1. On the beach
A group of friends were sitting on the beach and relaxing. They left their bags a few feet away from them and were chatting. After a while they realized the bags are no more there. They had no idea who or when came and took them.
Lesson learned: It’s like on the airport “never leave your baggage unattended”. Always keep your belongings with you, where you can see them. Eliana shows to always keep your bag in front of you, it’s also not such a bad idea to keep your hand nearby.


2. On subway
My friend was going on a subway and just like Eliana said on her way in or out somebody grabbed her bag and started running away. Since the girl saw the act she threw herself running after the pickpocket. She started screaming after him and it scared him so that he threw her bag in the bushes and ran away. She took her bag and discovered nothing was missing, everything happened so quickly that the thief didn’t even have a chance to steal anything.
Lesson learned:
 looks like the pickpockets are not used to being chased, they go for the easy thefts. So, try not to look as an easy target and if somehow the pickpocket has taken you for one, then ruuuuun after him!


3. On Costa Brava
And now for something completely different, a car theft, meaning the objects from inside the car not the car itself. The targets tend to be the cars with foreign registration plates or rented ones. My friend had her stuff stolen from a rented car trunk. And we had our car door lock damaged when a thief tried to break in but was scared off by the alarm. 
Lesson learned: 
if you come to live here with your car, try to register your car locally (if you do it in the first 1-2 months you don’t have to pay an additional tax). If you do have a car with foreign plates try to leave it in places attended by lots of people like next to bars or cafes and if possible, make it clear you don’t have any valuables in it. You can open the glove compartment to show it’s empty or use your imagination.


All in all, it is really not difficult to avoid thefts and pickpockets in Barcelona. You just need to keep your eyes open, be alert and watch out for your stuff. It’s easy, you’ll get used to it and will be able to enjoy Barcelona without worrying.


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