Barcelona How To – Avoid Pickpockets

How To Avoid Theft in Barcelona, Spain

Petty theft in Barcelona is a major reoccurring crime. During my time in the city I experienced, and witnessed, multiple occurrences of theft. From wallets to cell phones and even the occasional camera these tips, and insight, are here to help you avoid loosing your credit cards, and get you back home with the same phone you came with.

Never have your phone out on the table in restaurants

  • Pickpockets are always looking for easy targets. They will notice your phone out and come up to you asking you for money or put a sign on the table trying to distract you, and when they leave you will see they took more then they asked for. 2This has happen to numerous people that I know while sitting both inside and outside at restaurants.

Keep your wallet and phone in your front pockets

  • Back pockets are easy access and pickpockets are good at what they do, your things will be gone and you won’t even feel them leaving you.

Don’t take all of your cash/credit cards out with you

  • In the case that you do get something stolen, it’s better to loose a little than a lot. So, don’t take out all of your cash when you really only need 40 or 50 euro maximum. Also, leave your debit card in your room; you only need one card for emergencies. Small proactive steps like these ones can help minimize the damage done if you find your stuff at a lost.

Keep your bag on your lap when sitting down, not on the floor or on a chair

  • Again, easy access. It’s much easier to steal a bag hanging on a chair or underneath a seat than it is to take right out of your lap or off of your body. Pickpockets have many different techniques of distracting you and spot situations like this from a mile away.

Make sure your bag is closed at all times

  • Especially on the metro. If you have a backpack don’t wear it on your back, wear it on your front and don’t keep anything valuable in the front pockets. The metro is a very common place where people get things stolen so keep an eye on your things and the people around you.

When out in the club or any other crowded place make sure to keep one hand on your bag

  • I had two phones stolen, both in the club and it was because I was dancing with my hands up in the air not paying any attention to my bag at my waist. It’s very easy to get distracted, especially if alcohol is involved so remember to be aware of how much you’re drinking and keep a firm grasp on your bag.

Don’t be easily distracted

  • Distractions are a pickpocket’s best friend. They will use anything and everything to try to take your mind off of what’s in your pocket. Example’s include – pretending to play soccer with you in the street and getting close enough to slip your phone out of your pocket, acting drunk and trying to stop you from passing them in the street, waiting until the last second to exit the metro when it’s very crowded, or simply bumping into you while walking by.

To sum it all up you should always be aware of your surroundings. Pickpockets can happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime.


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