Subte Robbery Alert (C Line)


Feb 12, 2009
Beware of the 9 de Julio Subte station, where you switch to the C Line to go to Retiro.

I was on my way to the big bus terminal in Retiro, pulling my suitcase and carrying another bag as well. The diversion is this: as you try to enter the car someone deliberately stands in front of the door to hold up passengers from entering, and at the same time the train conductor closes the door on the entering people, creating panic and confusion. I believe the train conductor did it deliberately, because I've never had that happen before.

In the ensuring pile up of people I had an eBook taken from my purse, which was zippered shut. I actually had to push my way through the crowd and manually keep the door from closing on me.

I believe the thief or thieves target people headed for the Retiro bus station who have luggage and have a lot of items to keep track of ... I usually hold my purse to my chest but because of my baggage I was unable to do that.

Tomorrow I'll make a report to the subway police. I don't know if any investigation will take place, but I strongly believe the train conductor works in concert with the thieves.

From now on, I'm going to tie my purse zipper shut with a twisty. I'm lucky I had my money, debit card and passport secured in a travel pouch beneath my skirt.

Has anyone else been robbed in this way?
I can't count the number of time I see tourists parading around the city like there going on safari....tilley hat's, shorts, camera's around necks, maps in hand, and the famous Lonely Planet Argentina guide book.. Pls folks for your own safety try to tone it down a are being targeted by all of the street thieves....

I always use the advice I got years ago, look at the locals and dress are they are dressing.....try and blend in...;)
Yes, I should have taken a taxi, but I think everyone on this site knows how I feel about taxi drivers.
Victoria, I've no doubt that you are savvy and street smart and it happened to you in spite of that, not because you were being careless.

I HATED telling people I got robbed because everyone had to give me their very condescending two cents about how I 'need to be more careful'. How, exactly? I dress like the locals, ish. The only map I use is a GuiaT. I speak fluent Spanish. My bag is always strapped across my whole body, I don't carry valuables, and I don't walk alone at night. But it's excessive to tell me to take a cab every time I need to go a few blocks, advice I was given on multiple occasions. I'm a woman, not an idiot, and in fact I think men are often targeted for crime more than women so I could easily give that same useless advice to the next man who tells me he was robbed.

Life is dangerous, there's no way around it and the possiblity of getting robbed certainly doesn't change my inherent way of life.

Thanks for the heads up about this method, though!
victoria said:
Yes, I should have taken a taxi, but I think everyone on this site knows how I feel about taxi drivers.

This is a perfect example of how acting on feelings can have far more negative consequences than acting on reason.

I know this from experience: I got married once.

I lost a lot more than an ebook.
Yes, I dress like a local too because I wear clothes I bought here. I didn't speak to anyone, so no one knew I was an English speaker.

I've seen backpackers on the subte so I thought if I was REALLY careful it would be OK. It was just so convenient to have cheap, fast transportation directly to where I needed to go.

But the thieves here are really, really good at what they do.
I once felt the fingers going into my jeans pocket on linea C. I was wearing a leather jacket. I don't do that anymore.

I no longer use any subway lines except D, either.

And I take the train from Nunez to Retiro, but will only have to so so once more to upgrade my DNI form temporary to permanent.

I realize some expats who are already here can't do this, but I am posting it now so potential expats can take this into consideration as they decide where to live.

It can make a huge difference in your experience/enjoyment of life in BA.

Nonetheless, you can still get robbed anywhere and anytime of the day!

But it is less likely in the better neighborhoods...

...unless you are leaning over the curb with a giant camera around your neck...

...or sitting at a sidewalk cafe with your wallet open on the table as you hold an English guidebook in your hands...

I have seen both...and warned the potential victims of the danger they were in...

But I'm sure there are many more who don't have a clue.
Theres lots and lots of crime here, thats why the local population is so afraid, gripping their handbags, a look of perpetual paranoia and distrust burned into their many lined faces.

Ive had lots of attempted pickpockets, but somehow always caught them. I just cant get over though as I sit in the subway car and watch women unnaturally contorted around their bags. they never relax, and never trust anyone.