We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

Which Porlamar hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
alkmaar
posts: 50
reviews: 1
Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

On Feb 16, 2011 the customofficers at Margarita Airport tried to pick my pockets!

What happened was this. Just before being admitted to the departure lounge there is a final check. One customsofficer asked for my passport and started a conversation. Another customsofficer started frisking me, patting my body. And that very moment, I noticed this just in time, a third officer had his paws in my pocket and already has his hands on my money. I acted in disbelief and anger and this "person" immediately stepped away.

I think all three of them were in on it.

By the way: I had one of my best times ever on Margarita this year, except for the incident at the airport.

31 replies to this topic
Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
posts: 1,766
1. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

Good thing you caught them in the act and a good warning to others to be vigilant.

Glad you had a good time in Margarita - hurry back :-)

Burlington, Canada
posts: 196
2. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

That airport is a mess. I had $1300 US left on me but nobody tried to pick it. I did get scanned though. The kid doesn't really know how to operate it. I had to go through it about 5 times before he got it right. Either that or he was simply in disbelief that I hadn't swallowed any drugs. Note to authorities: I don't want your drugs. I want your oil. $1.25 a litre in Canada. Ouch.

Burlington, Canada
posts: 196
3. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

Oh they did pooch my cigarette lighter at that check point, Camilo. I thought you're allowed to bring one lighter on the plane? The customs officer did not pocket it though. He threw it in a plastic see through box with alot of other confiscated items in it. The police are another matter. I got searched at Bella Vista beach. They just rode up behind me and started searching my pockets. Of course, their search was futile so they made it worth their while. The cop actually pocketed my cigarette case filled with 25 Canadian smokes. Can you believe that? That is so ignorant. I couldn't believe it. I did nothing wrong and he robs me of my case and smokes. To that Officer and I use the term rather loosely: Smoking is bad for your health.

Edited: 12:37 pm, March 10, 2011
Oakland, California
posts: 105
reviews: 35
4. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

One thing I've learned from my travels is that slickers do not work alone. One distracts you and the other robs you. I really enjoyed myself when I out-slicked a pickpocket (ratero in Spanish). He got away with a fake Barack Obama $44 bill from my pocket. I took a bunch of those bills on my last five-nation Latin American trip. Before returning home, I gave the ones that were not stolen away as souvenirs. Too funny!

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
posts: 1,766
5. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

One trick in crowded places is for someone in front of you to suddenly stop causing the person behind to bump into you. The person behind is an accomplice, picks your pocket or purse & then hands off the item to another accomplice behind him so that even if you catch the pickpocket his hands are empty.

england
posts: 203
reviews: 2
6. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

when we were there we were called to the security office and they said they wanted to check our cases , after arriving home we noticed that our camera and digital radio was not there obviously they had taken it . also my friend had her money took from her rucksack while in the crowd ,its a shame because we had a fantastis holiday x

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
posts: 1,766
7. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

I have to ask what were money, camera & digital radio doing in regular luggage?

These items should ONLY be carried on your person.

You have to use a little common sense when you are travelling not only in 3rd world countries but everywhere.

It's unfortunate that this happened to you but you appear to have made yourselves targets.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
posts: 712
reviews: 7
8. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

milllieoo7, you make is sound like your stuff was stolen during your security check. i've been pulled into the security office several times. Each time I've been asked to unlock my luggage and open the bag in front of a national guard so they can search it. They proceed to do their search in front of me and when they are done they ask me to close the bag. When I close it I lock it up again. Have they changed this procedure and now check the bags when you are not there as a witness?

Are you sure your stuff was stolen in Polarmar Airport and not in the airport in your own country?

Still, PlayaElAgua speaks the bottom line. What were those items doing in your luggage? I wouldn't travel in any country with valuables in my checked in luggage. The only exceptions to this would be things not allowed in my carryon and things too big for my carryon.

england
posts: 203
reviews: 2
9. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

firstly the radio and the camera was in my hand luggage ,while i unlocked and emptyed my case in the security office my bag was on another table behind me i havn`t got eyes at the back of my head !! and also has for the money it was taken from the rucksack while on her back perhaps she`d have noticed if she had eyes in the back of her head too

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
posts: 1,766
10. Re: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport

You seem upset at our comments. That was not the intention however as I've been in the tourism business for more than 20 years we see some pretty "innocent" people who are not mentally prepared for a 3rd world country.

You should never let your bags out of your sight. That is a common warning given to all travelers.

Rucksack or back pack robberies are very common. People come up to you from behind & open unlocked compartments or use a razor to open them from the outside. Again always have your money, passports & valuables on you when traveling in 3rd world countries. 2 people wandering around with backpacks are TARGETS. Just use some common sense.

I still feel sorry that you were subjected to these robberies & am just trying to help others with some preventative advice.

Reply to: Pickpockets at Margarita Airport
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Porlamar