(The football game has been moved to Andorra, but sufficient numbers have bought flights via Barcelona to make this worthwhile.)
As seen in Ireland’s Sunday World newspaper on October 2nd, we will circulate this letter to Irish fans arriving at Barcelona airport on October 7th.
Welcome to Barcelona
You will be Robbed!
This city is going through a crime wave and you’re arriving in the middle of it.
Robbed in Barcelona (www.robbedinbarcelona.com) brings you information on the most common tricks.
1. The Ronaldinho. Friendly guy comes over, sticks out his hand. Tourist shakes it and the guy jokingly pretends to “tackle” the tourist, football style. The startled tourist doesn’t notice guys hand in his back pocket. Typically the guy just throws the wallet on the ground where his buddy picks it up. Game over.
2. Ooops I dropped my phone. Tourist on the metro, guy drops his mobile on the ground. Helpful tourist bends over to pick it up, wallet gone.
3. Sign my petition. Several people come up to tourist with a clipboard asking them to sign a petition. Others arrive, creating a fuss. Tourist distracted, wallet gone.
4. Coffee table magic. Guy comes over to tourists sitting at a cafe. Tries to sell CD’s or flowers or ask directions on a map. When he leaves, the phone/wallet that was on the table goes with him.
5. Take my flyer. He gives with one hand, takes with the other.
For more (including the “2-door taxi”) visit www.robbedinbarcelona.com
Danger areas: The old city and gothic quarter are infested, Montjuic too. The metro (especially the yellow line) is also problematic. Don’t assume that museums are safe; we have heard of incidents in the Aquarium and the shop at the Camp Nou. Robbers often target those who have had a few drinks, so pay particular attention at night and strongly consider leaving everything of value in your hotel.
What to do when it happens:
Do try to recover your stuff but don’t use violence, Spanish law will not be on your side.
Please please do report it to the Police. Reporting is a pain but the more that report the better. Police stations are at Nou de la Rambla and under Plaça Catalunya. You’ll see the queues of tourists at the door. Your hotel will have the details (they are well used to it).
If you do get robbed when in Barcelona, please let us know about it:
• Visit robbedinbarcelona.com and post in the comments section of this story.
• On Twitter: @RiBcN
• Email: thousands ./at\. robbedinbarcelona.com
• On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RobbedinBarcelona (please join the 3,235 victims already there)
Best wishes to the Republic of Ireland in its game against Andorra!