The sensation of release and freedom that a holiday brings is a liberation! It takes many months to arrive yet sadly, petty thieves can steal that carefree feeling in a split second.
‘My first thought was what an idiot I’d been! … To be taken by such a simple tactic!’
Sadly these are all too common sentiments for some visitors to Palma de Mallorca. Pickpockets are good at what they do. To become a victim it only takes a moment off guard.
For tourists and business people alike Spain and Mallorca are considered safe destinations. Most people who come to Mallorca don’t get robbed, yet gangs and individuals do operate here around all the tourist hot spots and Palma airport.
They spot you a mile off as you arrive at Palma airport or at one of the many tourist attractions on the islands. They choose you!
How can you prevent pickpocketing, what do you need to know?
Please read on for essential advice.
Pickpockets have a number of techniques that will work nine times out of ten. Here’s a few examples of how they like to work. Take note of these and don’t make it easy for them, they will move onto someone else.
One tactic is pinning a flower on your clothes. It’s just another distraction technique used by pickpockets. They will steal when pinning it on you, or when you hand it back or get your purse out to offer a contribution.
Some examples of distraction are; a man innocently requesting help from a senior lady about where to find diapers in the supermarket for his baby etc. Or a thief asking for directions while holding maps. (except they won’t seem like thieves.)
A classic distraction technique is when a thief deliberately squirts or spills something on a victim without them realizing and then like a very helpful person points it out and offers to clean it up. While cleaning them up they clean them out of money also. This method has been very successful.
Pick pockets often work in twos or groups using the distraction methods. Wallets or purses can be passed to safety between themselves very quickly.
Corrupt waiters at a restaurant may also read the card into their own recorder for later use. Try to pay with your card by swiping it yourself. Many restaurants will bring the credit card reader to you nowadays.
Groups gather round their prey closing them in, for instance in a supermarket isle or an escalator.
Being friendly offering to help with some task or problem, which they may have set up.
Pretending to be deaf and dumb or asking you to sign a petition on their clipboard.
In tourist locations English speakers are normally on duty.
The Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) have responsibility for general policing in rural areas in addition to traffic policing, protection of coasts, frontiers, ports, and airports.
The National Police Corps(Cuerpo Nacional de Policía) is responsible for general policing in urban areas.