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Kovaks Street Scam Forums • View topic - Scary Muggers & Some Advice

Scary Muggers & Some Advice

Scammed in Barcelona? Share your stories here.

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Scary Muggers & Some Advice

Postby KOVAKS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:12 pm

Contributed by (name withheld):

I read your site about scams happened in Barcelona before my trip there. I learned a lot and decided to be prepared. Since most of the stories were about pickpocketing, I was prepared for those. I had my wallet in a chain, camera's strap around my wrist all the time and I was checking my back once in a while, etc. So I didn't have any problems with the pickpockets. (Actually, I met a Swedish lady at our hotel one day and she told she had been robbed in La Ramblas. It was that typical you've-got-a- stain-there-let-me-clean-it and her wallet was gone from the other side.)

But: on the last night of our trip (on sunday the 16th of Sept.) me and my friend decided to go to the Port Olimpic to shoot some pics of the port at night. We took the metro to the nearest station and started to walk. It was getting late (10:30 pm) and I still needed to call my friend to arrange our meeting at th! e airport next morning. We sat down on a bench in a park. The park was half dark and there were some other people sitting on the next bench. I called my friend and after the call I was typing a text message. Suddenly these two Moroccon looking young guys were standing in front of us. They asked for cigarettes, we said "Sorry, we don't smoke", so they asked for 10 pesetas. I said "Sorry, I don't have my wallet with me, it's at the hotel" and tapped my rear pocket, which was empty. I knew that they would have stolen my wallet if I had taken it out. The wallet was in my front pocket of my jeans. The guys were talking about something (not in Spanish) and I was sensing that something was up. I was collecting my cell phone and my camera in my left hand and my friend's phone was in my right hand. Then the guy standing in front of me pulled his knife out. Scared the poop out of me. The guy started to feel my pockets and found my wallet. He forced me to take it out and ! was going thru it. I asked him only to take the cash (about 8000 ptas), not the whole wallet. He took the cash and took our cell phones. He got my cell phone without the battery, but unfortunately my friend's cell phone (with my card in it) was still on when the guy took it. Then he was taking my brand new compact camera. I didn't want to lose the camera because of the almost full film and was holding to it. He put the knife close to my stomach; my friend shouted "NO!!!". I asked him to let me take the film out and he let me do it. To my surprise, when I got the film out, he didn't take it after all, although I was acting like take it if you want to! As they left with our 16000 ptas and two cell phones (the other without a battery and SIM card) the other guy wanted to shake hands with my friend. They didn't even run away. We started to search for help and saw a couple. The guy could luckily speak both Spanish and English. They called for the cops and I called home and told my dad to get my SIM card cancelled. It was cancelled after like half an hour after the robbery. The cops came and they took us around the park and Port Olimpic in the police car. We didn't see the guys anymore though. We made a report at the police station and back at home (in Finland) on tuesday morning I reported my cell phone on the black list at the local police station. This way, nobody can't use the phone anywhere even with another SIM card. To think back, it wasn't such a good idea to stop in a half-dark park. When we saw the area in general afterwards, there were almost only hookers on the sidewalks. At day the area is more of a business quarter, but at night it's scary.

My advice:

1. Don't sit down in a dark park where there's not much people around. First look around you and estimate how dangerous the area is. Don't even walk in suspicious looking areas of the town. Better to stay for example in the centre of the city where there's a lot of people even on week nights.
2. Don't keep all your money in the "usual places". For instance, this thief searched only thru my wallet's bill and coin pockets.
3. Keep your 9-mil with you. It's scarier than a knife.
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