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Kovaks Street Scam Forums • View topic - Another Tire Pinch

Another Tire Pinch

Scammed in Barcelona? Share your stories here.

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Another Tire Pinch

Postby KOVAKS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:38 pm

Contributed by Ronen Totonchi:

I just came back from France and here is my experience in Barcelona :

My wife and myself travel a lot and I also lived three years in France so I am well familiar with Europe (or at Least I thought so). Two weeks ago my wife and myself rented a car in Paris and started a journey to southern France. We then decided, unfortunately, to enter Spain and visit Barcelona, since we have never been there and were curious about this city. We arrived on Sunday at about 8 PM, we drove around looking for a Hotel, we also decided to take a look at the Ramblas while driving. There, stopping in red light in a well lit avenue full of cars, a guy approached my driver side, knocked on the window and pointed to the front left wheel,trying to keep us distracted, while his friend opened the back door and pulled one of our bags. They quickly disappeared in one of the side street.

Here is the outrageous part : There was no police in sight, we drove around trying to find a police station, we found one that was closed , and only after about two hours we managed to stop a police car who took us to an open station, where we waited another hour to report the crime. Later we understood that everybody in Barcelona, from the Hotel receptionist, to the policemen we talked to, the US and Japanese embassy employees, were well aware that tourists are being systematically targeted in Barcelona, especially at the Ramblas. The US embassy had detailed statistics on the walls, which said that 218 tourist were robbed at the Ramblas in the year 2000, in addition to other locations (shops, trains). I estimate the total by 400-500, which means more than one case per day !! We also heard a lot of horror stories while at the embassy, and cases much worse than us (including injuries).

My question is, why don't the authorities in Barcelona do something to protect the tourists visiting their city? Why don't they do the basic thing, and station policemen at that dangerous location?

Myself and my wife have visited may so called 'dangerous places' like certain areas of New York and Israel, but we never felt unsafe as we did afterwards in Barcelona.

In conclusion, this was my first and certainly last visit to Barcelona. The city after all wasn't worth it, but If you still want to visit Barcelona, keep the car locked while driving, don't get out no matter what, and don't stop in red lights at night.
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