Evidence of Organised Tourist Baiting in Barcelona

November 8, 2012
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Foto: Chris8800

A Dutch citizen has submitted to us her account of how her gold chain was stolen from around her neck in Barcelona in September.

It shows the methodical approach applied to stealing from tourists and the impunity with which these teams operate.


“In the old city, I had a drink at an ecological restaurant with my husband and daughter (18) on our first day in Barcelona. When we got up and walked away, a young man approached and was going to pass about two metres to my right.

I looked at him and saw he was nervous. So I kept on looking at him.

As he was passing he suddenly ran at me, grapped my golden necklace and pulled hard. Luckily the necklace gave way at once.

It made us all very angry and as he ran away we all started running after him, but then stopped realising it was not a wise thing to do.

He stopped some distance from us and he handed the necklace to another guy. They gathered into a larger group who were all looking at the necklace, while they kept a watch on us.

We went back into the restaurant but no one there seemed to be very surprised. They told us to go to the police at Placa Catalunya.

As we walked away my daughter told me she had seen the group of guys walking past the terrace earlier, and that membersof this group had stood for a time in each corner of the restaurant. Meaning, if I had walked in another direction another guy would have snatched the necklace from me.”

Gold chain snatching isn’t new. We’ve written about it before.

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4 Responses to Evidence of Organised Tourist Baiting in Barcelona

  1. Silvia on October 20, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I can DITTO this writeup. This must have been done by the same guy that took mine near the Cathedral in mid city of Barcelona. BUT i think mine was cut off from my neck since I hardly felt it, but then I went touching for it, found it missing, and the guy was still about 2 ft. from me, and we started running for about 3 blocks, with my screaming. NO ONE cared a D—. I’m to be back there in 4 days, but will be my last. For those that say “be careful”, NO…. they are professionals at this, Piranas… and the tourist has no chance.

  2. Andre Di Cicco on November 2, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I agree with you Silva I am not coming back either and will encourage as many as possible to not come too. I want Barcelona to lose out on millions because of how we were treated here. I have been really careful and was still pickpocketted yesterday. Oh so it’s my fault because i was looking out of the bus window at the magic fountain for a moment? What the heck do they think we are here for???? To play games with the city’s crooks? So why should we come if there is no time for anything else but to watch your wallet watch you phone, watch the people watch your family…

  3. angus on December 23, 2014 at 1:06 am

    What a terrible situation and frustration

    I had some one try steal my chain when I was on the subway..A hand came out of a crowd of people and tried to take my chain from my neck,,i pulled back but my head was pulled down and I was dragged along by my chain ..
    they let go and ran..

    I still had my chain but it was broken and repairable..

    gift from my mother,, I hope these people that steal liin Barcelona all see the inside of a ..

  4. Neelu on July 6, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    The city is full of thieves, just a week back I lost my bag at Fc Barcelona in PAN cafe At 2.30 pm . It was a shoulder bag had all my money , iPad , blackberry and worst of all my passports, we had a horrible time. Cafe guys did not show us the CCTV, police was least interested too to catch the thieves,

    I strongly agree we should boycott this city

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