5 Jul, 2024 @ 13:30
1 min read

Warning for tourists visiting Spain: ‘Professional’ pickpockets are travelling to this city to steal from holidaymakers – with the elderly particularly at risk

Pickpocket warning in Spain: Gangs are targeting tourist areas as the summer season begins

PROFESSIONAL pickpockets are making the trip from Sevilla to Cadiz to target tourists in the southwestern city, especially when they know that there will be more visitors there than usual, irregardless of whether they are from Spain or abroad.

That’s according to police sources, who spoke to the Diario de Cadiz newspaper and warned that these thieves are very hard to spot given that they dress as if they were tourists themselves and blend into the crowds. 

The arrival of cruise ships, the staging of big events or parties, and even when protests against tourism are held have all motivated the pickpockets to journey to the city and find their targets. 

Their day of choice is usually Saturday – for proof of this, there were five police reports filed this past June 29 for the loss of wallets or purses, coinciding with the presence of a lot of tourists in the city as well as a march against mass tourism. 

Read more: Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas named top European tourist spot for pick-pocketing

Pickpocket warning in Spain: Gangs are targeting tourist areas as the summer season begins
The most common victims of pickpocketing in Spain are older Spanish women.

The victims were four women and one man, according to the Diario de Cadiz, and the thefts took place in the historic quarter of the city. 

The police sources told the newspaper that the profile of the average victim is older women with Spanish nationality, and visiting from another part of the Cadiz province or from the rest of Spain. 

To avoid falling prey to these pickpockets, the Policia Nacional recommend that people take care of their belongings at all times, in particular in busy areas such as markets; that valuables are kept out of sight; and that people be aware of street hustles such as the so-called ‘shell game’, where participants have to find the pea under one of three shells.

What’s more, the police recommend that people be particularly suspicious of offers of help; for example, when a stranger stops you to say you have ice cream or some other stain on your jacket, or that there is something wrong with your vehicle. 

The Policia Nacional also offers its Foreign Tourist Assistance Service (SATE), to assist victims of crimes in their own languages.

Via this service the police can help victims cancel their credit cards, contact embassies or consulates, and get in touch with relatives. 

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