Robbed while traveling- experience & lesson learned


Nov 14, 2009
While walking on a sunny afternoon through La Boca I was mugged by two teenagers (maybe 13 and 17). As I have told this story to my friends and acquaintances I have found that it's really not that uncommon. In realizing this I wish I would have taken the following steps prior and during the assault in order to be more prepared. Take my lesson learned so that even though you might not be able to avoid being robbed you can avoid some of the hassle associated with the event.

-Keep a spare debit/credit card at home so that you're not left without access to ALL of your accounts.
-Always carry some amount of spare cash hidden on you (in your bra/socks/tiny pocket in your jeans) so that you at least have that left.
-Avoid writing specific information that could be useful to someone who has robbed you i.e. your address.
-Continually download pictures from your camera so that if it's stolen at least you still have the memories.
-Try to carry your keys on you; this was the biggest hassle and most expensive part of being robbed. If I would have had to replace the keys of my building it would have been close to a thousand dollars- yes dollars, not pesos.
-Learn your home phone number.

-I wish I would have asked for my keys, most of the time they have no value to the thieves.
-Maybe run?

-I gave my information to the police and felt very uneasy about it afterward; it's hard to know who to trust.

I hope this helps in either preventing or preparing for this type of event.
RJ85 said:
-Maybe run?

I'm glad you're ok, but don't run, ever. Try to stay calm and give them all they ask for. Yes, you could ask them for your keys and documents (I did once) if they seem calm enough.
At first. I didn't give them my purse and then the older of the two said "dame tu bolso o te mato" at that point I looked down and he had something under his shirt. Most likely just two fingers, but in any event that it would have been anything else it wouldn't have been worth it to find out. Even if he just used his fists as a weapon a punch to the face would have been more than enough.

Attorney in BA: Thanks for uploading the file I read through it and it has some useful tips. For example, when it was happening I yelled for help but it says that I might instead yell the name "Jorge" so that they think I have a male companion. Also it recommends yelling "fuego" in order to get people's attention. There were several people around and it was unfortunate that even though they were women and children no one really tried to help.
Sorry to hear that. I have friends who had something similar happen.

Best advice I can give is to calmly comply with any demands. My colleagues aunt was shot dead a few weeks ago, after the kids trying to steal her car panicked when she suddenly reversed away from them. However much you value your belongings, they're not worth your life. Don't run, don't fight, just bring the situation to a close as quickly as possible.
JP, is the incident about this poor woman who was shot happen to be the same incident that occured in WILDE? A very similar incident took place in WILDE which is in zona sur near Avellaneda. How sad.
In general, young robbers are not malicious, they are poor and unsophisticated.

The best thing to do is to carry a "divertive" purse or wallet. Keep the valuables in your bra or underwear and carry a bag or wallet with "change".

When you give them the bag or wallet, they will run away before they even open or look at what they have of yours.

Walking through La Boca alone even during the day is crazy. It's like Harlem used to be before Bill Clinton gentrified it.

Also walk with confidence looking straight ahead and don't give the "victim" body language with drooping shoulders and looking down and vulnerable. Always walk as if you know exactly where you are going.

Hope this helped even one person from losing irreplaceable or valuable items.
Last week, 2 motochorros (the ones on a bike) tried to rob a guy in Microcentro, after a money withdrawal. The guy resisted and a lot of people attacked the thieves and beat the hell out of them: they were arrested but with serious damage.