A Drop-Off Point for Barcelona’s Snatched Bags?

November 15, 2012
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Foto: chris8800

Thieves like to get rid of bags fast. A 20-something male walking or cycling with a nice lady’s handbag draws attention.

In Barceloneta it seems the thieves have a handy drop-off point where bags can be deposited for assessment or later collection.

(Barceloneta, the district, constantly features here on “Robbed in Barcelona”.)

Our contributor picks up the story:

“Last summer I was going up Carrer Andrea Dória and was close to the beach; a guy passed me on a bike with a lady’s bag that he had stolen. By chance, I was speaking on my mobile phone to my girlfriend, who was walking on the same street a few blocks behind me. I asked her to watch where this Maghreb guy with the bike went. The guy stopped the bike in front of  a bar, he went inside and left five seconds later without the bag.

Just then I encountered the couple who had been robbed and they were with the police. I told them to go to the bar. I didn’t go with them to avoid problems, but my girfriend watched the police and the couple going inside the bar and leaving a minute later with empty hands.

My conclusion: The guy left the bag inside the bar, in a place where the police cannot access without a warrant. From that moment on we had little doubt that the owner was hiding bags, probably to get some of the profit from the robbery. We had even less doubt some days later when we saw her going to the trash with another bag, dumping all the (uninteresting) content and then returning to the bar with the bag.

Now that we are more alert we often see suspicious guys standing at the front door, with their bikes, laughing and shouting, but always very alert and always on the phone to their friends. Sometimes they vanish at a second’s notice, then come back again, but it could be minutes or hours later.

The police know who they are, a policeman even commented that they know the set-up, but they can’t/don’t do much…”


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11 Responses to A Drop-Off Point for Barcelona’s Snatched Bags?

  1. amira on November 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    you should post which bar here.

  2. mss on November 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    name the bar!!! Seriously, since police is helpless, name-and-shame is the only way to put at least some pressure on this scum cartel!

  3. Alex on November 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    “All i oli”

    • Alex on November 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      it’s very frequent to see maghrebis at the door of “All i oli” (more in the summer), but also at other points in Barceloneta neighbourhood, for example in Market plaza, atlantida/st carles cross, “italianos” icecreams, bars in c/ Cermeño and probably in many more places… :(

      they also hide in buildings with street doors that are allways-open.

      I now understand how difficult is to catch and get rid of these “parasites”…

  4. Cellery Valley on February 25, 2013 at 12:24 am

    When my wife’s purse was stolen (2010), we reported it to the Barcelona police station. Eighteen (non-Spanish) women in line in front of her on at 9:00 p.m. on an October weeknight. The interpreter said the Summer (by comparison) had been “really busy”. Clearly, neither the government, the courts, nor the police were interested in stopping the victimization of tourists. Of course, nothing was done, and we were never contacted. Otherwise, we loved our trip to Spain.

  5. Juliet Gill on June 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Here’s the deal, as explained to me at the police station in Lisbon: Most of the perpetrators are illegal immigrants from Romania. The police have to nab them in the act, which is difficult, since the thieves toss the wallet or purse to a waiting accomplice. If they do manage to catch a pickpocket the thief is let go on bail to await trial. At once he/she will cross the border into Spain till the dust settles, usually about two years, then come back and resume where they left off. They have their own legal advice, too. The police pretty much have to stand by helpless.

    • John on March 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Sure, let’s blame the Romanians, …My dear Juliet, 1. Romanians are not illegal immigrants because they are EU citizens. 2. Roma and Romanians are not the same, please document yourself. Maybe some of the Roma thieves come from Romania but you have gypsies (travelers) in UK, too (or knackers in EI). There is a large Gypsy community in the South of France, one in Italy, and so on. It just happens that the vast majority of them were in Romania in the past as they have been used as slaves.
      And Maghreb isn’t the same to Romania by the way…
      Anyway, you should be more concerned about your own (UK and IE – I am not quite sure where you come from) traveler communities that do far more worse things (drugs and fire arms dealing, including gang related murders).
      PS A piece of advise, when you decide on having a say over something, make sure you know what you are talking about.

  6. Alex on July 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    A new drop-off point? Restarant “Que Bo” in Barceloneta: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151451498776460

    I’ve seen several times “known” robbers standing there and talking to the employee. It’s in a perfect spot for drop and go.

  7. M. caraballo on April 4, 2014 at 7:13 am

    we should start hunting down these place, naming them publicly, leaving notice on their facebook , tripadvisor, etc. pages. We should hang out there by these establishments and start compiling and publishing photos of these crooks in the act with the purses in hand as they enter the stores. Maybea poor tourist will see their purse and be able to go there with the photo and confront the owner with police. Make THEM be the ones hunted. Make it such a an unprofitable nuisance that they take their theivery elsewhere.

  8. Beatriz Araujo on May 15, 2014 at 4:30 am

    I had my purse stolen in Barcelona this past May 9th at the AC Hotel SOM Marriott,at Arquitectura. 1-3 08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat(Barcelona). Apolice report was done the same day, the hotel has a tape with the robber face view the incident occurred at 7:03 am, please if any can help me place a solution for this or get the police to see the tape, which the front desk lady stated she couldn’t call the police to see the tape and make report, I had to go to the police station , where only a peport was written done.The robbery happen inside the hotel restaurant.

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