By Andrew Atkinson
Members of the public have been alerted of a bag-snatching in Quesada in an alleged incident at Mercadonna car park on November 9.
A Visa bank card with the victim’s name details was found following the incident.
Bag-snatching, along with jewellery, has been highlighted in Benidorm, Seville, Granada and Barcelona – deemed the bag snatching capital of Europe – among a plethora of towns and cities in recent times.
The civil Guard arrested a gang of robbers, who were linked to bag-snatching, in Torrevieja last month.
Incidents of bags being stolen have occurred to victims while out dining, with thieves removing bags from the back of chairs. Incidents have occurred in Los Montesinos.
Under Spanish law, if you steal something worth less than €400 (£357) it’s a falta (misdemeanour), not a delito (crime). If you are caught, you will be fined approximately €50, but however many times you re-offend, it remains a misdemeanour and as an offence it is not cumulative.
The police find it demoralising, knowing that when they arrest a culprit he/she will be back on the streets, within hours.
There have been moves to change the law but the legal system is rife with serious cases, so it has yet to proceed, making bag-snatching and pickpocketing crimes to carry on, unabated.
All the city and town authorities can do is warn people of the risks. Despite all the warnings, many people remain to have their wallets in their back pockets, handbags draped over the back of the chair in a bar, or a camera or mobile on the table.
Never leave a rucksack or bag in the floor in a cafe or restaurant. You can buy hooks for attaching them to tables. Use money belts for keys, cards and cash.
Never stop if anyone asks for directions, or if anyone offers to remove bird excrement from you. Never have a wallet in front or back pockets.
Victims have been robbed at airports and train stations – and from the use of selfie sticks near cash machines – recording pin numbers being keyed in.