"Avoid the Via Laetana near metro stop "Jaume I"." Pickpockets Tip by StevenJonKaplan

Pickpockets, Barcelona: 116 reviews and 28 photos

My wife and I have traveled considerably and are usually prepared for pickpockets, but while walking on Saturday evening in February 2004 along the Via Laetana exactly one block north of metro "Jaume I", on the east side of the street, my wife's bag was snatched by two thieves working as a team, one to grab, another to serve as blocker (as in American football). She lost very little in value, as we had put the serious cash in a money belt, but still it put a damper on our visit. This is a particularly vulnerable area as there is one major thoroughfare and dozens of tiny intersecting side streets which lead to even more narrow alleys. Being in pretty good physical shape, and noticing quite a few people about, I attempted to catch them. To my disappointment, the locals assisted the thieves, rather than my wife and myself, and suggested that we see the police rather than trying to apprehend the pair. We walked around for half an hour and could not find a single policeman within several blocks of the metro stop in any direction, so we were not even able to report the theft. We later encountered an elderly Irish couple who had lost a considerable sum on the same intersection in almost exactly the same manner. Score one for the American consulate, however: two months after this incident occurred, my wife received in the mail a thick envelope from the Barcelona branch of the U.S. Department of State, which contained every single one of the most useless items that had been in that bag: receipts for money exchange, business cards from proprietors, and even an expired library card, but nothing worth even a nickel in street value.

Address: Barcelona

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  • Written May 9, 2004
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