Pickpockets On The C Line...


Today my guests (having already been ripped-off yesterday by Manuel Tienda Leon) were pickpocketed on the C line. I had warned the to take care before they set out, as another guest staved off a pickpocket there a few weeks back.
Someone pushed them and started talking to them, while an accomplice swiped their blackberry, sunglasses and prescription glasses.
This is the 3rd lot of guests in two months who've been targeted, here's the list of (thankfully) petty crimes so far -

1. Bird poo scam near Plaza de Mayo
2. Attempted pickpocketing on the C line
3.Overcharged by Manuel Tienda Leon at the airport
4. Successful pickpocketing on the C line


Do this guests of yours look like obvious easy marks?
I suggest you/we start educating people on local aspects of the urban look.

Recently I welcomed Daviddc to BA and one of the first things that came to mind is that I do not wear my t-shirts tucked in. Passed along the info and it was immediately adopted.
Small things go long ways sometime. You do not have to look like a hardened target, just slightly more so than the next sucker.


Its terrible to hear, feel very sorry for them.

But, people have to take serious precautions though, BA and most of South America are hotspots for petty theft. Some of those I can think of:
- trying not to look so touristy that you are a target - flashing expensive electronics, guidebook / maps in hand (which also means you are distracted), two waterbottles and a backpack which reads tourist. Try to know where you are going before you go there, know the buses you have to take, know the stations / lines of subway you have to get on and off etc;
- better than not flashing, things that you wont need keep them secure and dont take them with you on the subway, bus etc
- clutch on to any bags, including across the zippers
- NOTHING in easy to reach pockets (such as back pockets, side pockets on jackets) and if you are going to put something in your pocket, keep your hands in there
- educate yourself on the "tricks" that pick pocketers use, bird poo etc etc
- try to stay clear of dodgy looking people, whenever I see someone I dont like the look of, I move away from them. Yes perhaps prejudice, but if it saves me from being stripped of my phone, wallet, and watch I dont really care

Of course, you can take as many precautions as you want and still be robbed, but atleast if you take precautions it reduces the chances.
It's true, I might be paranoid but if I see someone I dont like the look of I hop off the train and change carriages! Backpack goes round the front and my hand goes across the zipper. You have to appreciate where you are and act accordingly. I take my watch off in rush hour and secure it in the bag.


I do try to warn guests as much as possible but I have to stop when they start getting alarmed. They are paying guests, you can only say so much before you start spoiling their trip!!! These guests had experienced petty theft in Brazil and seemed quite sure of themselves. We had a talk about it before they took the C line and I explained that our previous guest put his hand in his pocket to find a hand already there reaching for his camera! It's not easy to tell nice educated people to dress like a tramp and pull their shirts out etc, especially seniors.
I will be even more insistent in future, but I feel ashamed at the stuff going on.


your guest must really have a tourist look, have lived in this city for 8 years and never suffer a pickpocket attempt and I carry iPhone and other stuff that can be attractive for thief, of course I have hear people that has suffer it, but 3 times in 3 month man your guest must look like really easy target, try to instruct them to be careful and not look like tourist. You don't need to dress like crap that is not the key, is just be aware of your stuff not more than that, is not that dificult.


I would say the best thing you can tell them is to keep everything in a zipped pocket and keep a hand on the zipper when in any big groups of people. This shouldn't be too alarming as that kind of theft is common all over the world. Zipped pocket and hand on the zipper at all times, also be very alert when anyone comes to speak to you.


I'm not a pro like some of the people here, but I carry different things in different places. Sometimes my purse is almost a decoy. I never put my keys in there because if someone successfully snatches my purse I don't want to be unable to get back into my apartment easily. Sometimes it is so easy to spot tourists. I have puzzled over what it is, but perhaps the T-shirts is one thing. But where I live many people dress very nicely, but the look is different.

My friend was robbed yesterday in Once. She sent me an email and I don't yet know the details. She said she is lucky, he did not hurt her. Of all people it is sad because she said she had quite a bit of money--and she is a retiree whose pension was recently cut.

Some people object to these crime threads but I think we need to post them. It's good for me to hear about things because it helps me to stay alert. When I lost my wallet it was because I had become lackadaisical. The rules (some of them are): Never let them touch you. No matter how much bird doo you have on you, not the person who did it or anyone else. These people work together and you don't figure out who those "nice" people were--until later. If someone is particularly nice to you, be nice back, of course, but be suspicious and alert. Next, if any incident happens--any at all--someone falls, someone drops something and it splashes all over--even including you--anything that takes attention, gather your things immediately and get back away from it until you can assess what's going on. (that is for newcomers who might read it, not you pros). I'm not real new, but I benefit from the hints too. Even if I've hear it before.


It's the age old story, what's the differnce between a tourist and a travellers, put simply it's the 'look'. The tourist look usually screams ‘look at me’, but the traveller has the under the radar look, so advise your guests to ditch the Gucci gear and adopt the neutral look.

Someone else mentioned mobile phones. I’m presuming you have a phone card system there so advise them to have one handy. If that’s not the case, well shop owners in my experience will always help out. I have yet to work out why people who are on holidays insist on carrying mobiles anyway! OCD springs to mind, but I won’t go there! :rolleyes: The same applies to any technical stuff.

Make yourself familiar with the environment. I have already bought my BA map for dummies, and between that and google earth have spent time looking into the north, south and west of BA. There is no problem to my mind in taking a map on your travels, but use common sense when reading it. Pull in to a coffee shop and read it there. Why not book a walking tour within the first few days of arrival! As for public transport, grab a seat if you can, or stand with your back to the wall. If you find anyone pawing you, for lord’s sake make a fuss about it that will attract attention. Whilst I appreciate that these guys (the pick pockets) are good at what they do, most people I have spoken too when questioned say they knew something was going on, but were too embarrassed/scared to make a fuss.

It all comes down to basic common sense with some planning for flavour. I hate to say it, but the majority of people I have known to get ripped off have set themselves up to be prime targets, sad but true.