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Theft in Buenos Aires

Singapore, Singapore
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Theft in Buenos Aires

I had been my knapsack stolen from me right under my nose today. After a long walk in La Boca with some friends, we travelled over to San Telmo to meet up wtih some friends. There were 4 of us sitting in a star bucks cafe.

I left my bag on the floor just beside my feet while we were sitting on high stools and exchanging stories about the day. Just as we were talking, I had my bag stolen from under our noses even though there were 4 of us sitting on the table! It was so fast that its hard to believe as I had just reached for something from my bag just less than 5 minutes before.

My whole gang was simply shocked that it missed their eyes as well. As we compared stories, the friend sitting opposite me mentioned that he saw a couple coming into the shop and stood briefly behind me. The male accomplice bend down to pick up a newspaper from the rack which was just beside us. It seemed very normal to him hence he did not notice anything amiss as the couple appeared very natural.

It seems that these theives always worked in pairs, one to distract and another to do the pilfering. Hence beware and be warned! Always placed your bags on your laps or between your legs where it cannot be pulled without your attention! Otherwise, tie your bag to your chair with something to prevent someone from pulling it away.

No where is safe - even in a shop like star bucks! Just the night before when we were having dinner - we were told by a waiter not to place our bags on the floor - as the Argentinians say that 'bag on the floor and money in the sky.' We thought that this was a saying, but little did we not know that this was entirely literally true!

Unfortunately for me, I had 2 North Face Jackets as the weather was cold and a sunglasses whose value already came up to more than 800 bucks.

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La Boca
La Boca
4,040 Reviews
Buenos Aires, Argentina
San Telmo
San Telmo
12,054 Reviews
Buenos Aires, Argentina
San Diego...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
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771 reviews
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1. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. The thieves in Argentina are some of the best of anywhere in the world. Remember professional thieves in San Telmo stole ex-President Bush's daughters purse in San Telmo under the watchful eye of 7 Secret Service Agents.

Yes, the thieves are that good. Never ever leave your bag on the ground at any restaurant or cafe. I even have heard from several people that had their laptops stolen at a Starbucks. People get a false sense of security in Buenos Aires as it mostly doesn't feel like you're in South America. But the thieves can strike within a few seconds.

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Don't let it ruin your trip.

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Argentina
Argentina
South America
San Telmo
San Telmo
12,054 Reviews
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Capital Federal District, Argentina
Madrid, Spain
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440 posts
30 reviews
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2. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

Yep, the thieves in BA are very, very good. And very numerous. Never leave your bag on the floor or the back of your chair (especially in a tourist hangout like Starbucks) -- it should only ever be on your lap or on the chair beside you, in plain sight at all times. And avoid walking near the curbs, due to motochorros (motorcycle thieves) that roar up to the sidewalk, rip the bag off your shoulder or out of your hand, and zoom off.

3. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

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4. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires...
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5. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

There are break-ins and robberies all over Buenos Aires, city and suburbs.

About 2 years ago, our relatives were held at gunpoint in their home .. ( the robbers got in with the pizza delivery)

This has been going on since we arrived here, 5 years ago.

I remember how a waiter gently chided me about putting my purse on the back of my chair once , I never forgot after that !

EarthlyWalker, I am so sorry that you had this experience.. it is horrible to have something like this happen.

Edited: 9:22 am, May 12, 2012
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Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Capital Federal District, Argentina
New York City, New...
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6. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is rive with thieves. Makes it a very unpleasant city to visit.

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Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Capital Federal District, Argentina
7. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

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Removed on: 1:15 pm, May 13, 2012
Edited: 1:15 pm, May 13, 2012
Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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8. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

To counter the visitors opinion on BA above...

We have lived in Argentina now for over 5 years. We have not experienced any crime.. no robberies ( if you don't count that overpriced sofa we bought) and no one has threatened us ..

We are out and walking in all parts of the city most days, I carry a camera with me most of the time and my purse.

No one I know has been robbed or mugged.

While the city might be rife with thieves, this does not mean that everyone who visits or lives here has been robbed.

The reason it is one of the most popular cities to visit, year after year, is because of all the wonderful people, the food and the place and not every one has the bad luck of being robbed.

Although, I have a friend who comes here every year and she had her purse snatched a few years ago .. this did not stop her.

Coming from New York, I never feel uncomfortable or afraid here and I hope everyone takes warnings seriously but with a grain of salt.

We will be leaving here one day and my heart will definitely be broken to say good- bye to this amazing wonderful city .. full of more kind and generous people than bad ones.

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Argentina
Argentina
South America
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9. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

I was worried about returning to BA because of reading post such as this one. I had considered changing my plans and not come at all. I am so glad that I didn't do that. That would have been stupid and I would have regretted it. I felt totally safe in BA BUT I was very alert. Never afraid or paranoid but always aware of my surroundings. I do feel bad for the original poster. I really do but you should just never put a purse on the floor. It is just asking for trouble. Again, I am not judging or criticizing.

People, just don't be put off by the negative things that you read on this forum and don't be afraid either. But please be careful. You are not in your own country where theft might not be as much as in issue as it is in BA.

Yesterday, I went shopping at a very crowded supermarket. There was a woman that had her wallet in the carriage and she was a few steps away and had her back turned. I warned her that she should be careful. Someone could easily have lifted it. If she were in Europe or SA it would probably be gone in a second. Its funny because even though she thanked me, she looked embarrassed and slightly annoyed as if I had scolded her.

Glasgow, United...
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10. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

Did you report it to the police & what did they say?

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