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most unfortunate, stolen I phones and tablets

Discussion in 'Camino Crime Watch' started by xymmot, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. xymmot

    xymmot New Member

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    Staying in the Albergue Seminario Menor in Santiago with hundreds of other pilgrims you can feel a good vibe of other pilgrims who has just completed the Camino. Without thinking that someone would steal in the Seminario was beyond me as I plug in my Samsung tablet/phone to be charged along with many others stacked at the charging station in the room that housed thirty beds. Well there were thieves among us as three cell phones , along with the charger were stolen between 11pm and mid-nite on October 14th, 2016. I wish I was more observant as the thief just happen as I was returning to the room. Gone are the photos and memories of my Camino. I felt just as bad for fellow pilgrims that lost their cell phone as well. Everything can be replaced but that sense of security that I always felt with fellow pilgrims. Who would be so mean or desperate to be among pilgrim and steal? So, in close, do not let your guard down as non pilgrims are beginning to be in the mix with pilgrims that did the Camino. And as I was told by others that thief happens more often and not reported at the Seminario, be careful.
     
  2. Smallest_Sparrow

    Smallest_Sparrow Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be Donating Member

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    Thank you for the important reminder that we must remain careful of our belongings--no matter where. I'm sorry for the loss of your phone (and especially the important photos). I hope you can use a 'find my phone' app. I wish you luck in getting your phone back--it's terrible what that person did.
     
  3. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Thieves are not stupid. They have figured out where to find these things! A large number of sleeping pilgrims with modern phones and tablets assembled in a corner is perfect! Worth the investment in a night's accommodation in an albergue.

    Don't make it so easy for them!

    We repeatedly warn people not to leave valuables unattended anywhere!
     
  4. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I'm sorry your phone was stolen but we warn people constantly on this forum to keep electronics within sight.
     
  5. Rick of Rick and Peg

    Rick of Rick and Peg Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Someone on this forum had a good idea about charging phones in albergues; charge a portable battery pack instead and then at night use that to charge your device while in your sleeping bag. You could even get a battery pack with a built-in flashlight.

    Edit: I'm a bit embarrassed by all the likes this post is getting when it was actually someone else's idea. But it sure was a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  6. jerbear

    jerbear Active Member Donating Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. Are your photos backed up. Ie. Cloud?
     
  7. xymmot

    xymmot New Member

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    Losing the phone did not bother me as much as the thought that my phone/ tablet was stolen in the Seminerio
    I am so glad that I have google plus that backs up my photos, but no telling what else of importance is on my tablet., like dear diary thoughts and notes. I am working on changing all my passwords on all my sites I used. Other than that I am fine with my lost
     
    Kanga and Anniesantiago like this.
  8. Madidi

    Madidi Active Member Donating Member

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    Sorry to hear about your misfortune. I stayed there for the first time on Sept 9th this year and it was almost full: all that was available were individual rooms. I did notice on returning to the alburgue late in the evening that there was no obvious scrutiny of people heading up to the dorms and anyone could have walked into the building from the street. Perhaps this was the work of someone other than a pilgrim: some streetwise individual who was aware of the lack of security.

    Take care, be safe.

    S.
     
  9. Annie Little

    Annie Little Active Member Donating Member

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    Last week .... I forgot where .... Came across a young man who it seems has had his phone stolen from his back pack by someone cycling past ....
     
  10. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    Sorry to hear about that. Getting ripped off sucks. I can only say bad karma to the thief/thieves.
    As said before, the Camino is really cool and walked by a lot of cool people, but Utopia it ain't. Most see it as a wonderful experience, but to a few, bad people (I don't even want to call them pilgrims) it's seen as a tree full of ripe fruit. The fruit being stuff easily stolen. They see easy going, joyful pilgrims as almost willing victims.
     
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  11. NorthernLight

    NorthernLight Member Donating Member

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    A similar thing happened in one of the alburgues in Logrono about 2 weeks ago. Phones and tablets charging on a table, owners all in another room doing something, return to find it all gone, including someone's passport and money.

    I heard this directly from one of the victims.

    I still see people leaving valuables in easy to steal from spots.
     
    Anniesantiago likes this.
  12. MCFearnley

    MCFearnley Active Member Donating Member

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    Even on the Camino we have to keep our guard up as not all have the best intentions. Really sucks to have stuff stolen.

    On my camino I brought a battery pack. Sure it was extra weight but it served me well. If I had a plug near my bed, I would simply use that for my phone charging. However in the places that had plugs away from the beds I would use the battery pack. As I was most often on the bottom bunk I would hang an S-hook on the frame above at the head of the bed, hang my hat on it and use the hat as storage for the battery pack connected to my phone that I placed under the pillow. I would put the phone under the pillow so I could feel the alarm vibrate since I could not hear it with my earplugs.
     
  13. Guidersue

    Guidersue New Member

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    I'm sorry and disappointed for you. I worried about it myself and always plugged my phone to charge where I could see it. I hope you are able to find enough memories in the familiar pictures of others to trigger all the other memories of the wonderful experience of walking across Spain.
     
  14. SEB

    SEB Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Sorry to hear that someone stole your possessions xymmot. Despite frequent warnings on this forum, people still leave equipment charging in their absence. When I stayed in the municipal albergue in Pontevedra, a group of young people partied into the small hours and then after i had been woken up several times by them finally retiring to their beds with high powered torches to find their way, I went to sleep in the common area in the reception to avoid any more disturbances to my sleep. Not only did I see twenty or so phones/i-pads charging on a table but the party people had been smoking outside and on coming back inside had left the doors not only unlocked but open. Anyone passing could have walked in and taken the whole lot of stuff. Not all people walking the Camino are pilgrims. I think Madidi makes an interesting observation.
     
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  15. Undermanager

    Undermanager Active Member Donating Member

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    I don't understand why people would leave a phone or iPad worth upwards of a grand lying around as they go off to the local cafe or take a shower. It's asking for trouble. I'm sure many a thief knows full well that they can grab a few grand's worth of electronics in three seconds in any albergue. On my recent trip, I had a Samsung Note 4 phone with two spare batteries and a battery charger, which cost about 10 quid, and used that to recharge batteries. They weigh next to nothing and are easily replaced. I never let the phone out of my sight.
     
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  16. Guidersue

    Guidersue New Member

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    I had a battery pack to charge my phone when I couldn't keep it in sight. Many of the albergues did have convenient plugs near your bed and it was there I charge either my phone or battery pack.
     
    trecile likes this.
  17. trecile

    trecile Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Like others, if I didn't have a plug near my bed I used my portable battery pack to charge my phone. I also carried an extra long - 10 ft - charging cable, so it was rare that there wasn't an outlet that wasn't close enough to my bed.
     
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  18. AML

    AML Active Member

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    Im disappointed that your phone was stolen at Seminario, I get the feeling theft is common there whether it be dishonest pilgrims or someone just coming in from the street. I stayed there on 12 October, seen the signs on the locker doors warning to keep valuables locked particularly when showering and sleeping.
    There isn't much security in the building, anyone could easily walk in and up the stairs relatively unnoticed. I didn't really enjoy it there actually and next time choose another accommodation.
     
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  19. Saint Mike II

    Saint Mike II Vetran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    As others have commented - vigilance is required after the Camino ends - just as its needed whilst on the road. Madidi makes a valid point - there appears to be no "checking" of who is a pilgrim (and who is a thief). One question - did you or any of the others who were robbed make an official complaint/report to the Albergue Management? As you had left it unattended the Police will not really be interested. The idea about taking a battery charger pack is one I will investigate. Cheers
     
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  20. sitges54

    sitges54 New Member

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    Do the Albergues that do have lockers also have locks or do you bring your own. Is there enough of them that have lockers to make it worthwhile to bring a lock.
     
  21. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Most albergues do not have lockers.
     
  22. Smallest_Sparrow

    Smallest_Sparrow Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be Donating Member

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    I think the few that do have lockers do not provide locks. One forum member said she always carries a small, luggage-type lock just in case...she said the weight was negligible

    personally, I would try to limit the amount of stuff I bring that must be locked up or taken with me...and if it's expensive, I'd do one or the other.
     
  23. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    It is terribly upsetting when this happens, but of course it is part of the long tradition of the Camino that pilgrims get targeted by thieves - see this interesting article. "Although punishments for attacking pilgrims were very harsh, it did not stop pilgrims being attacked by robbers and bandits. In northern Italy the problem was with German robbers, in northern Spain on the routes to Santiago, the bandits tended to be English."

    I particularly like the information that German pilgrims were notorious for travelling in style, as noted by many thieves ("Practical Considerations").
     
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  24. AML

    AML Active Member

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    Lockers are not common on the camino, occasionally they may be found in private albergues. In the Seminario Menor albergue in Santiago everyone has a locker beside the bed, the lock fitted is a coin operated refundable type.
    I don't think its worthwhile to bring your own lock.
    Aidan
     
  25. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    good point....
    Groups of traveling people have always attracted the attention of thieves and such. On the Camino and anywhere else in the world. Then and now.
     
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  26. StuartM

    StuartM Active Member Donating Member

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    I use a battery pack too. Charge it, keep your phone on you. I never let any of my valuables out of my sight. It might be a pilgrimage to you but it is still the 21st century with all its risks.

    You can get some big capacity packs on Ebay cheaply, they run off the same charger type as Android phones. They don't tend to last more than a year but they don't cost much. Just bear in mind airline rules on batteries in luggage when travelling. There are limits on lithium batteries that are not installed in a device.
     
  27. long trails

    long trails Active Member Donating Member

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    It's a sad state of affairs but I'd trust no one in multi-share accommodation these days, whether it be on the Camino or staying at any backpacker or traveller's hostel.

    I've had all sorts of stuff go missing over the years, but luckily nothing valuable, because I'd not leave gear unattended anywhere outside of a locker.
     
  28. J F Gregory

    J F Gregory Preparing for the Norte Donating Member Donating Member

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    I use a solar charger that hangs on the out side of my pack charging while walking. When fully charged it will power my phone twice. So at night I plugged it into the charger and put it under my pillow to wake up to a full charge. I did take a charger with me on my Camino but never had to use it.
     
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  29. HikeTall

    HikeTall Member Donating Member

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    Was it password protected, and did you have "find my iPhone" turned on? I use an external battery to charge my iPhone so that it can always be with me. but if my iphone was stolen, id track the thief down. it would be my new mission on the Camino de REVENGE!
     
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  30. hotelmedicis

    hotelmedicis Commercial Interests Donating Member

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    The Seminario Menor, if my memory serves me correctly, is open to anyone and does not require a pilgrims passport. I would not be surprised that for a small €13 investment for a bed for the night a few enterprising thieves have found a way to gain easy access to literally thousands of euros worth of equipment from unsuspecting pilgrims. I have stayed there many times in both the communal rooms as well as in the single rooms and enjoyed it thoroughly. I just love that place and the atmosphere. I'm very sorry for the loss of your phone and do hope that this does not happen again.
     
  31. CaminoJoy123

    CaminoJoy123 Active Member Donating Member

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    One way to deal with seminario menor and the security issue is to get a private room. It's maybe €2 more?

    The other approach is to charge your phone inside the locker cabinet thing. Always lock the cabinet.

    You can also put squeaky, wrinkly plastic bags on the floor around your bed while you're sleeping.

    When you plug into the wall, Re charging the battery pack and not the phone is a good idea.

    Thieves are likely to be outsiders who prey on pilgrims, not the pilgrims not the pilgrims themselves.
     

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