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Kovaks Street Scam Forums • View topic - The Choking Bag Snatching

The Choking Bag Snatching

Scammed in Barcelona? Share your stories here.

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The Choking Bag Snatching

Postby KOVAKS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:50 pm

Contributed by Jan Hagiwara:

Thanks for your page - I think you´ve prepared a lot of us for our visits here, and probably saved a lot of people from being scammed. But how's this:

I was violently mugged this past Sunday, July 8, 2001, at 10AM at the side door to the Cathedral, with perhaps 20 people looking on in dumbfounded silence! I was just walking near the chapel entrance when someone´s arm was suddenly around my neck, choking me. I screamed and screamed, and being from New York City thought I was being killed by some nut case. Only when I saw everyone staring at me did I realize I was being mugged. A second guy ran in front of me and tore my little daypack off my shoulder, and they ran off. I later met another woman who had been mugged with the same choking method the day before, also in broad daylight but just off the Rambla, but since her bag was strapped diagonally to her chest, under her jacket, they took out a huge knife and cut the strap off! She said that she had just talked to a group of three women who were mugged together.

So, it seems that robberies may be taking a turn from "petty theft" to "brazen violent physical assault" this summer. Luckily, because of sites like yours, I had only cash (around 10,000 pesetas, and only because I had to break a 10,000 note that morning) and my water bottle in the daypack. In fact, for my first week (I´m here for three weeks) I was so paranoid that I only carried a small bit of money and my water bottle in a plastic shopping bag. I bought the cheap daypack so I could have both hands free. Now I´m back to the shopping bag! I´ve lived in New York City for over 20 years, so am very careful of where I go and what I carry. But if someone puts a choke hold on you and is ready to cut your bag off of you in broad daylight in a very public place, there´s no amount of street smarts and common sense that´s gonna help you!

Still love this city - such amazing spaces, and the natives are very kind, but I have to admit this has changed my view of the place.
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