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Crime on VdlP

anita

New Member
I will be walking the VdlP from mid May. Living in Johannesburg a bit of paranoia re safety is part of daily life. I am thus not put off by the references to crime on the forum - actually very low % - but can people that have walked de VdlP in 2010/2009 perhaps give some feedback if any such incidences occured? One will take the precautionary steps of keeping all valuables with you at all times but it is always good to know what else to be prepared for or to be on the look out for. Thanks
 
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Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I had absolutely no problem EXCEPT in a bar named "Bar Macias" in Almaden, where the woman charged us TWICE. We had to pay because we didn't speak enough Spanish to explain ourselves. I would never go to that place again. She was very rude and obnoxious!

Each place of business is supposed to keep a "complaint book" and when I asked for it, she and her husband insisted they did not have one. I could have spent time to report them, but it wasn't that much money. It hurt my feelings more than my pocketbook that someone would do that. But I guess robbing pilgrims is traditional to some people. :roll:

Except for that, all the people on the VDLP were lovely.
People are more likely to help you than harm you.
There is really nothing to worry about.

The biggest places for any type of small crime are in the big cities.
Just take the same precautions you would in any large city and you should be fine.
Keep your money and passport with you AT ALL TIMES, even in the shower!
Don't flash a lot of cash around.
Pay attention when you use ATM machines.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I walked last spring, but only made it to Caceres, having to stop because of my heel pain. Based on what I saw, I would echo all of what Anniesantiago says. I will add, though, that in the albergue of Castilblanco de los Arroyos, the hospitalera warned us to be on the lookout for visits from a man who lives in a ramshackle place not too far from the albergue (facing the albergue, this guy's house is up the hill a bit and to the left behind it). In fact, she lamented the fact that he frequently came and got money out of the donation box. The night I was there, he seemed to have teamed up with a transient and they allegedly took some things off different bunks as well as got money out of the box.

This kind of thing is fortunately infrequent, but it does underscore Annie's counsel to never leave your valuables out of your sight.

Laurie
 

anita

New Member
Annie, I saw your warning re Bar Macias and have already marked that as a no-go. I will be on the look out in Castilblanco thanks Laurie.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I walked the VDLP from Sevilla to Finisterre a couple of years ago, and never once encountered, witnessed, or heard any accounts of crime against pilgrims the whole time.

Ditto for all the previous good advice from Annie and Laurie.

Only once was the victim of a crime and it was my fault. I knew about the prevalence of crime in the Madrid subway, but last year was in a hurry and had my camera in an accessible pouch on a crowded subway car. One of the criminal gangs that hang out there waiting for idiots like me relieved me of the camera in short order.
As my mother used to say "Too soon old; too late smart".

So, watch out in the larger cities where career criminals do their best to outsmart you. In crowds, be very aware of where all of your valuables are (preferably in a pouch around your neck and under your shirt) and don't be distracted from your vigilance.

lynne
 
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anita

New Member
Thanks for the advice Lynne. A bit sidelined from the Camino but perhaps to pilgrims also going to visit some other cities. On the Rambles in Barcelona near the Playa de Catalunya two women approached us - the one gave me and my daughter roses, very friendly, and the other approached my husband to pay for it. She then kind of tried to assist him to get the right money out of his wallet but in the process she in a way hooked two fingers into his purse and as quick as lightening took some notes out. He did see it though and got hold of her hair not letting go until she dropped the money with much screaming and shouting. The other woman snatched the roses back from us. A guy came up to us to see if he can help but not much of a help and i suspect that he was part of the scheme - soothing nerves afterwards. At least I had some fun too. While my daughter was sketched by an artist, my husband and I keeping a distant eye separately browsed around the stalls on the Rambles. I watched with much amusement how a prostitute approached him at least three times before accepting his polite declining of the goods on offer!
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Hi Anita -
Actually this was on the camino - the first day of our Camino de Madrid last year- so not a great start - had to buy a new camera before we set off - an unanticipated expense!
Your Barcelona encounter sounds wild - and you and your husband obviously very vigilant!

lynne
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
anita said:
Living in Johannesburg a bit of paranoia re safety
Bit of an understatement! Still our various caminos and travels in Spain have been pretty tame crime wise (apart from the Rambles but still gotta love Barcelona), common sense prevail but do take care of your credential passport as it becomes increasingly significant (even if it is completely worthless to anyone else).
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I know I'll get busted for going off-topic, but this is just too good not to pass on. Mt. Airy, North Carolina is the home town of Andy Griffith, and the model for his long-running TV show. If there is crime there, you know you need to be watchful on the VdlP.

Friday, April 30, 2010

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — Dating Barney Fife doesn’t insulate you from crime. Nor does living in the the town that was the template for the fictional hamlet of Mayberry.

Betty Lynn, who played the bumbling deputy’s sweetheart on "The Andy Griffith Show" in the1960s, was sitting outside a Lowes Foods store after shopping and getting money out to pay for a cab home Sunday when a man snatched her wallet with about $130 in it and ran off.

Lynn is 83 but still a force to be reckoned with.

"I jumped up and started yelling, ’Thief! Thief! and ran after him," she said Thursday.

He disappeared. She went into the supermarket and employees called police. Within minutes, officer R.T. Bledsoe nabbed a man who had jumped into the Ararat River to escape.

"A squad car came and a policeman who knew who I was put his arm around me and handed me back my wallet. I never thought I’d see it again," said Lynn, a local celebrity in the Surry County city of 10,000.

Then, in a Mayberry moment appropriate for Andy Griffith’s hometown, he gave Lynn a ride home. And once there, he carried all her groceries upstairs. So far, $43 has been recovered. Talk around town is that the remaining loot may be sailing down the Ararat.

Shirley Walter Guynn, 45, of nearby Cana, Va., was being held Thursday in Surry County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond on charges of robbery.

Lynn moved to Mount Airy three years ago. She had fallen in love with it during appearances at the annual "Mayberry Days" festivals and was eager to leave Los Angeles, where she had recently been burglarized for the second time. She also HAD been robbed in Los Angeles twice, once on Wilshire Boulevard.

"I don’t want to hurt Mount Airy’s image," Lynn said. "LAPD never caught any of those guys."
 

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