MALLORCA – A gang of 17 Romanian pickpockets have been given 24 hours to leave the island of Mallorca or face jail.
As reported earlier this week by the Spanish newspaper, Ultima Hora, a criminal pickpocketing organisation was dismantled. This was following a successful police operation. According to investigators, those arrested had allegedly carried out dozens of robberies on the island over the previous weeks. Seemingly the gang went to the island with the intention of committing these crimes during the tourist season.
Tourists were targets
According to reports, the group specialised in targetting tourists on beaches, hotels, bars and restaurants. They split up into small groups and concentrated on stealing wallets and mobile phones. The gang has been described as one of the most active in Mallorca . Therefore, this is no doubt what led to their arrest.
Police on the island had noticed an increase in these type of crimes being reported. And therefore, a joint investigation was opened between the Policia Nacional and the local police.
On arrest, the police visited the accomodation of the gang and found a large part of the stolen items to be there.
Tourists more vulnerable
Following 2 years of travel restrictions due to Covid-19, people are desperate to escape and relax on holiday. However, despite the long wait for the arrival of your holiday, it only takes a split second for a thief to spoil it for you. There are many methods and techniques that professional pickpockets and petty thieves will use. Furthermore, the problem is not restricted to Mallorca.
When you are on holiday, you tend to be more relaxed and perhaps your inhibitions are lowered. However, you must still be alert to the fact there maybe some criminals around. Typicially, thieves love to work in crowded areas, like busy bars and markets, or in confined spaces such as public transport.
Also, when you are having lunch or drinks, be aware where your bag, camera, and mobile phone are. Is it over the back of your chair?
“Flower sellers” use the very old, but common technique of distraction. Firstly, they are NOT trying to sell you flowers. Their aim is to distract you when pinning the flower on you, or when you try to give back the flower.
Confidence tricksters are another method used by pickpockets. In this type of situation, you may see someone drop money or keys, or perhaps they hold a map and ask for directions. Subesquently, the thief relies on your helpful nature but ultimately robs you.
One very common distraction technique carried out in carparks is shown below by @mossos (Catalan police).
Fixa’t com actuen els lladres a les àrees de servei de les autopistes. Mentre un et despista, l’altre s’endú les teves coses #StopFurts pic.twitter.com/tRuVUHCcPb
— Mossos (@mossos) June 19, 2022
Scammers who look out for tourists can easily identify them by the sticker on the hire care. Sometimes, the thief may follow you from the airport, and when you stop to buy something, they let your tyres down. They then offer to help change the wheel, but meantime, an acomplice is robbing your bag off the passenger seat.
Thankfully, this type of crime is not as common as you may think, but it does happen, so always be aware of your surroundings.
Also read: Romanian children forced to rob pensioners at ATMs in Madrid