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Theft in Buenos Aires

Singapore, Singapore
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5 posts
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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.

BA
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709 posts
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51. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

5411, i have not read anything here to support your claims. Who is saying that thieves are not doing anything wrong exactly? Thieves are criminals. People that put smoke bombs in train stations to deliverately burn another human being is a psycopath that should be locked up too. And those who aplaud them are sociopaths that need their head examined.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
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765 reviews
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52. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

I totally agree with patitoaway and Camilo. I don't think anyone is excusing the criminal's behavior at all.

But as Camilo mentioned, petty crime in Buenos Aires is NOT going to go away. The same holds true for just about every other major cities around the world as well.

What we try to do here with tourists is warn them ahead of time on the appropriate steps you can take to avoid problems in the first place. Things like wearing a $10,000 Rolex watch around a city like Buenos Aires is just plain stupid. NO ONE is excusing the fact of what the criminal's are doing. But you have to use some common sense when coming here.

Nice, France
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for Buenos Aires, Nice
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53. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

I seriously agree with everything said by patitoaway, chrella, camillo and saintba.

I read joe p’s past contributions and didn’t feel any better. But anybody who thinks it a ‘great idea’ to rig a parcel dangerously, place it in a station to burn his target and then does so without even a thought for who else could be injured is bound to raise concern.

5111,

Nothing said on this forum ever has blamed victims for thefts they suffered. Taking personal responsibility for one’s own security precautions is just common sense. This has empowered people to have great trips as shown by so many visitors and I’d say an increasing number of trip reports have told us this over the past 18 months.

Needing to take precautions when travelling isn’t synonymous with being ‘blamed’. These 2 things bear no relation to one another.

Buenos Aires...
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54. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

I live in Buenos Aires, and this happens everyday and everywhere. It's really sad that police don't even care.

buenosaires
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55. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

Police does not care due to lack of interest and resources.. The new Metropolitan Police is a lot more efficient but it cannot act, it is just a deterrence factor. Not long ago one of George Bush's daughters had her bag stolen right under her bodyguard nose. Avoid sitting outside in places like san Telmo and Palermo

Nice, France
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for Buenos Aires, Nice
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3,500 posts
4 reviews
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56. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

perowerberg,

I agree with what you say in reference to BA's police. But with all due respect to you if you're a porteno as I think you are, nobody wants to or has to travel all the way to BA for a holiday and then not enjoy its wonderful restaurant and café terraces! Many of us wouldn't keep returning were that the case!

There are so many things people can do to sit on one and be safe and these methods have been reported often on this forum. I very much appreciate your concern for visitors. But hiding indoors is going is going too far. It's not necessary in BA.

Here in Nice -known as a very safe city- I'm adopting just since summer every precaution that I used in BA. I'm doing this because since the tourists arrived, so have the thieves and even their whole families where each member from age 3- 17 has a job to do called 'stealing'. But I'm still as comfortable and happy on terraces here in summer as I am in winter. I exercise just a little more care.

We can't all just hide from a problem by reducing how we live, you know? That wouldn't be living.

Los Angeles...
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57. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

I’m very sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. I think while we are traveling sometimes we are so focused on sightseeing and having fun that we forget we should always be cautious. I got my wallet stolen from my backpack in Paris (Gare Saint Lazare) while I was on the escalators and I didn’t realize I was getting mugged. It happens everywhere.

Oakville, Canada
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58. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

Yes this just happened to us right now. We were on one of the side streets off Florida st and my husband and I got into a taxi. Just as my husband got in, a man in a nice shirt pants and shirt longed into the taxi and tore off my husbands watch and there was a guy on a motorcycle all in black helmet and black clothes. He snatched the watch and the two just disappeared. This is our last day in BA, we leave tomorrow. This was so scary I can't tell you. It happened so fast. The guy was walking very close to my husband that the taxi driver thought he was with us. And we did not even notice him!

Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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59. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

I avoided Florida street like the plague and I lived there !

I would call a taxi from inside, I would never stand on the street .

Buenos Aires itself is like most big cities in the world, it has neighborhoods you shouldn't visit and areas where you have to be careful.

Florida Street to me, is one of those streets, it seems to appeal to tourists which appeals to thieves.

I am so very sorry that happened to you. Please try to remember all the wonderful things about your visit, all the lovely people and places and not let that one ugly moment spoil your good memories.

Michigan
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60. Re: Theft in Buenos Aires

I hope there are opportunities to be carefree in BA, as being on guard all the time can detract from the special experience promised to visitors.