Pickpocket warning as tourist explains how thieves use ‘distractions’ to steal

Unfortunately tourists are often targets for pickpockets who may be looking to steal money or valuables.

A tourist asked travellers on Reddit how bad pickpocketing was in Barcelona and if there was a way they could avoid it.

One person said they had been living in Barcelona for many years and shared a warning of a common technique used by thieves.

Reddit user ‘av_1212’ said: “I know pickpockets sometimes use loud noises as distractions to draw your attention somewhere else.

“My friend’s wallet was stolen by the beach when someone dropped a glass next to her and she didn’t mind her bag for ten seconds.”

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Thieves may use a range of techniques to steal from tourists including targeting them when they’re distracted.

If a tourist has a close watch on their bags, thieves may create a distraction so they take their eyes off it.

Police recently issued a warning for tourists after a pair of thieves spit on people to distract them before stealing their bags.

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‌Another person added: “I put my phone on a cafe’s outdoor table while I lit a cigarette and the waiter told me not to do that because it’s common for people to just sneakily pocket it.”

Pickpockets are looking for opportunities to steal and may take any items that they see unattended.

It’s a good idea to keep valuables in the inner pockets or to wear a flat money belt which can be used to hold money.

Pickpockets are most likely to strike in crowded areas such as public transport stations or tourist attractions.

Tourists watching street performers or taking photos should make sure they still have a hand on their bags.

However, although Barcelona has a reputation for pickpocketing, a recent study found that Italy is actually the continent’s top hotspot.

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