Guestpost by Eli.
I am saddened to read about all the bad experiences on this site, but heartened to see that people are not browbeaten by these scumbags.
I, too, was robbed of my bag recently.
Having first approached a policeman on a moped who just shrugged and drove off, I was advised by my hotel to go to a police station.
I had only been in town for two hours when I was robbed.
When I got to speak to an interpreter at the police station she was friendly, but it was clear that there was no interest in trying to catch anybody for the crime, or in gathering the details of my stolen cards, wallet or mobile phone.
When I suggested that my SIM was still active and hence could be tracked, she laughed and said that was a ‘stupid idea’. She later retracted that and explained that they *can* do that in remote areas outside the city, but they wouldn’t be able to identify a specific apartment within a block of flats. Silly me.
I applaud you for publishing the phone numbers that robbers ring with their newly stolen mobile phones. I am pleased to be able to offer you a list of them, which my mobile phone was used to contact on the day it was taken.
What I am appalled by is the boldness of these people. They are so unafraid of the Barcelona police and judicial system that they are willing to leave tracks. Feel free to call the numbers and tell them what you think of them. I favour a shrill whistle, myself. It’s childish, but remember that they are anticipating calls from thieves with innocent people’s details credit card and passport numbers. You may be preventing them from taking a call. The numbers happen to be Morroccan for the most part.
I would be happy if some law enforcement agency would actually do something with them. It is clear from what I have read and seen that it is futile to bother with the Barcelona police, as they don’t care.
These are not the numbers of other stolen phones as clearly the thieves need a reliable number to get hold of other crooks on.
As for those defending Barcelona, it is a beautiful city and I am sure that the majority of the local people are peaceful and caring, but attention must be given to this. It is NOT acceptable to simply shrug and say sorry. The city allows innocent visitors to be robbed and hurt, indiscriminately. The police know these people; they must recognise them on the streets and know what they intend to do. The only way is to deprive this city of its income from visitors until the issue is forced and they clean up the streets. Spain is in a bad economic state and if tourism fails, it will get worse. I tell anyone I know NOT to go there. Many of us live in cities and are taught to be cautious but this is extreme and out of control.