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Date: 08/06/2012

Barcelona: Potential theft hotspot

Anyone planning a trip to Barcelona should be aware that there is a high incidence of pick-pocketing and theft from tourists and that taking out some form of travel insurance is essential. Such thefts are particularly common in the summer months and figures suggest that upwards of 300 incidents a day are reported to police during the main tourist season.

Thieves and pickpockets can strike anywhere but the main places to be especially on your guard are on the Metro (Barcelona's public transport system), on Las Ramblas (the most famous and popular street in the city), at the beach and anywhere else where there may be tourists.

The people who are doing the stealing generally use distraction techniques. However, some just prey on unsuspecting tourists who are not being as careful with their things as they should be.

One common method is for the pickpockets to work in pairs, with one distracting the victim as the other one does the stealing. These thefts can range from cutting the straps of a bag and stealing the whole thing to reaching inside a bag or pocket and taking wallets, purses, cameras and mobile phones.

Alternatively, thieves are taking advantage of the fact that tourists are too busy looking at their surroundings to pay attention to their belongings, making it easy for them to have their bags or pockets reached into.

These days most people travel with at the very least a digital camera and mobile phone. Both of these items are usually full of photos and information about the owner. It is for this reason that the theft of such items can be even more distressing and all the more reason to take out travel insurance. This applies not just to Barcelona, but to almost any city in any country.