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Kovaks Street Scam Forums • View topic - More Tire Pinchers and a Guy Who Will Take No More

More Tire Pinchers and a Guy Who Will Take No More

Scammed in Barcelona? Share your stories here.

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More Tire Pinchers and a Guy Who Will Take No More

Postby KOVAKS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:07 pm

Contributed by Daniel Guido:

Pretty much read thru every item posted, and in my year and a half in BCN, I have witnessed the majority of these scams happen, and had a few personal experiences myself:

- Have German plates on my car so 'they' believe I am a tourist. After the 1st incident (Pza Catalunya) where my periferal vision and a rear view mirror saved my backpack from being stolen (w/ passport, residence permit and all), I learned to drive around (when I rarely do) with doors locked.

Next time around on the corner of Arago & Taragona, one attempted to open my car door (which was locked), and in the rear view mirror, I see the other waiting to open the boot, hoping to find a string of luggage. No such luck. So the guy on my side attempts to tell me there is something wrong with my tire.... lights about to change, I'm blocked in between vehicles so I can't go anywhere, I just mouthed off for him to stay away from the car, and gave him a friendly wave as I drove off.

For some reason walking down Plza Universidad toward Catalunya, the faces of these two guys waling in the opposite direction stood out, I turned to keep an eye on them, and sure enough, they picked up speed and dodged out into the street to open the doors of a car that had a couple sitting in it at the lights. The one on the drivers side will be the distraction, so that the other comes up quietly behind on the passenger rear door, opens it, and is off with packages or whatever. I started whistleing loud and pointing to them, other people started screaming, so they were cut short.

Had to walk the Rambla home every nite after work. Groups will gather around to watch the street artists, and theives gather around the spectators. One blocking the view while the other dips his hand in a back pack. Somehow this one time these guys looked out of place, it's not likely that locals or 'the problem immigrant' stop to watch the artists, so that alone was a tell tale sign. I snatched the guy by the wrist, and squeezed hard, while yelling at him. He and his partner walked off stunned. The tourist about to be robbed looked at me as if I was the thief!

On Monjuic (the fountain show) it can get pretty crowed up on the escalators. Two weeks ago noticed a group of about 5 Gypsy girls, pretty young most of them, make a bout face to follow someone who was wearing their backpack in the back. A minute later, they pass again... I knew something was up, keeping an eye on them the entire time. Sure enough, another bout face to follow a gentleman: I yell out, Robonas Gitanas, tachentiev, pishe-pock... they looked up startled... but I and my friend had them marked and they had to change locatation. Happens they were working with a group of guys, who were doing the same thing!

Walked down the stairs to a traffic officer and sure enough... unless you catch them in the act, you cannot arrest them because 'you think they were going to do it'. What a crock of sh*t. If you know it happens, in a place crowded with tourists, at least show a police presence, two guys waling the beat can only help.

Living here and feeling for the tourists and what happens multiple times, on a daily basis, I am now always on the alert. The anger it stirs up in me is aweful. The thing that bothers me the most is how the locals do not get involved. I get involved whenever I see something going down, but am begining to think that it will only end up causing me harm, and 'they will go un punished anyway.

So with all that, here are the things I plan on doing to 'help the cause':

- Work in an international company here in BCN, with colleages from all over the world, who have visitors, such as I do, that come to visit BCN. Will see that your URL is posted in our coffee corners, and in our monthly newsletter.

- Write an email and forward your URL to as many government agencies in BCN, especially those that deal in the cities tourism. This city thrives on tourism, and though they have really begun to crack down, they have a long ways to go.

- The next time I go to the fountain show, I will carry a big flashlight with me, and if I see the same type gangs, they will find themselves in the spotlight!

Thanks much for the work you have put into maintaining your site. You have helped a lot of people by spreading the word alone.

A BCN transplant, and now consider BCN my home.
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