Crime in BsAs - anyone?

In Buenos Aíres, have you personally been the victim of:

  • Pickpocketing

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Burglary

    Votes: 54 43.9%
  • Theft

    Votes: 14 11.4%
  • Armed robbery

    Votes: 45 36.6%
  • Robbery, no arms visible, threats/intimidation only

    Votes: 26 21.1%
  • Stabbing

    Votes: 23 18.7%
  • Shooting

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Other crime

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • I have not personally been a victim of a crime in BsAs

    Votes: 28 22.8%

  • Total voters


Now we have 54 respondents, 35 of whom have not been victims of crime plus 19 who have been victims of a total of 36 crimes - the proportion of victims/non-victims seems to be stabilized.

Born a pessimistic optimist, I am still hoping for at least 100 respondents.


I was living in Recoleta and Palermo for four months without any incident but my first week in San Telmo, I had two incidents:

1. Paco addict (scarred face, glazed eyes) grabbed my arm and demanded money. I just shouted "f*** off" and he moved on to some unfortunate older gentleman...

2. Was the victim of the bird poo scam but the only damages were the time to go home and wash off the foul liquid...


The first post with the important definitions is now somewhat at risk to be overlooked.

Here goes:
Please respond from your own personal experience and not governed by your knowledge of others having been the victims of crime in BsAs.

Why? If seven other persons were present when your pocket was picked, we run the risk of counting eight instead of one; if your coat was stolen at an expat dinner, then perhaps 32 for 1.

If, on the other hand, three persons were robbed in the same incidence, we correctly get three reports, as each had a personal experience, although one might argue, that this was only one crime.

Before you answer, please read all the definitions carefully. You may find some crimes missing, if so please indicate this in a post, but be aware that the number of options in a poll is limited to 10 (a board limit), thus e.g. attempts cannot be included in this poll.

For this same reason a number of well known minor crimes have to be excluded in this poll, including the bird shit scam, the "taxi casa de cambio" with counterfeit money, and others.


Personally: You. Does not include your spouse, girl-/boy-friend, children, parents, etc.

Pickpocketing: to steal valuables from a person without their noticing the theft at the time.

Burglary: entry into a building for the purposes of committing the crime of theft.

Theft: the illegal taking of another person's property, i.e. without that person's freely-given consent.

Armed robbery: seizing property through violence or demonstrated threat of violence by showing a weapon.

Robbery: seizing property through intimidation and/or threat, no arms visible.

Stabbing: the penetration of any body part using a sharp or pointed object at close range.

Shooting: the penetration of any body part by a projectile from a firearm.


I'm still not sure that excluding people we know were victims of a crime doesn't skew the numbers.

I have not been a victim but again, I know personally at least 7 people that were. They just don't happen to post on this board. And for the record the ones that I know were:
2 stabbed during muggings (one on Libertador y Maure - he had to have his ear stitched up, 1 in San Isidro - stabbed in the leg with a screwdriver while they tried to steal her bike)
2 mugged (Juan B Justo, 3 people actually and 1 in San Telmo)
1 car stolen from in front of my apartment at the time (Libertador y Matienzo)
2 pickpocketed (Palermo y San Telmo )


...shortly after arriving in BA I was walking along rivadavia in Once with my young son on a busy saturday morning when there was a series of really loud cracking sounds. Everyone in sight sprinted into the nearest shop and in the middle of the street,outside a bancogalicia I saw a security guard shooting into the back of a car that had just screeched away.

We froze and then saw a guy jump out of the car and run straight towards us holding a gun. He darted past us and ran down Pasteur. I don't know why but I decided to followed him until he disappeared around a corner.

I walked home and was quite shaken by he whole thing. I've never seen that type of violence so close up.

A crazy thing happened after that. About 3 or 4 days later I was walking vey close to where the shoot out had occured when I saw the very same fugitive walking right next to me.He caught my eye because he was very distinctive looking; very different to most people you see around town.

I then saw him wonder past my shop a few weeks later. Couldn't believe it! saw him the next day and the next, with some friends looking like he was going to and from his job. Eventually i decided to follow him again but decided that was not the wisest of things.

Since then, touch wood, all has been quiet.



citygirl said:
I'm still not sure that excluding people we know were victims of a crime doesn't skew the numbers. ...
It won't.

If you read the very first post in this thread, it clearly states this part of the scope:
"get a realistic statistics of the subsection of society, which frequent baExpats."

Any report from, and worse: about, an "outsider" will skew the numbers.

If we used your above information and wanted to avoid a skewed number, you would have to report about everyone you have ever known in BsAs, who have not been a victim of crime.

It's like the news, which never report of the 6,800,000,000 who wasn't killed or robbed.


We have now reached 60 respondents, one of whom has told in a post, that he forgot to add a five year old burglary - captdave has been subtracted from no and added to nuisances.

60 respondents, 36 whom have not been victims of a crime in BsAs.

Of the rest, 25 have been petty crimes - a nuisance but still something one can live reasonably relaxed with.

The unspecified 6 crimes are possibly in the same category (if not, then scream, shout and kick - and tell us what happened).

8 crimes were potentially dangerous, and an unpleasant number of 2 crimes were life threatening.

As percentages:
60% persons no crimes
40% persons have been victims

~ 42% (or possibly 52%) nuisances
~ 13% potentially seriously dangerous
~ 3% life threatening

If you find it strange, that it all adds up to more than 100%, the explanation is that we count crimes, not respondents, and 24 unlucky respondents have been the victims of 34 crimes.

I still hope that out of some 450 active members, we can get above 100 respondents.


There is a tendency among expats to dismiss crime here with the argument that there is as much crime in New York, Chicago etc. The difference, in my opinion, is that the crime in the major American cities tends to be concentrated in areas that tourists or the relatively well off never see. I am thinking of areas like the Bronx, most of Brooklyn, Harlem etc. Yes, there is crime in Manhattan but I don't believe it touches the lives of the average Manhattanite the way it affects Porteños. I hear constantly about Porteño friends who have been robbed - yesterday a friend was threatened when she was driving her car near the Sheraton Hotel in Retiro. She stopped at a traffic light and a man approached her and demanded her money, threatening to kill her. Just about everyone I know here has a story to tell. I honestly can't say that about people I know in the US - most of the people I know in the US have NEVER been victims of crimes. You can live or visit here without incident but be careful where you go and use good judgment.