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Robbed in Madrid



A few days ago I was jumped and robbed whilst waiting for the lift to my fourth floor hostal in Madrid. This occurred inside the building on the ground floor, despite the door to the street being locked. The thief had obviously been waiting inside the building for a likely target. The robbery was very quick. I was knocked to the ground and my wallet taken from my hip pocket. I had money in other pockets, but this was not touched. The thief was out of the building and into the street before I got up.

Please be aware of this possibility: just because you need a key to get into the building does not mean you are safe.
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Active Member
I was robbed in Madrid in broad daylight in the main square and the thief ran away in the crowd. We had to walk a long way to the police station to make a report. There was robbery fatigue by the police as so many happens every day. It is worth noting that we had to wait for a long time to place the report and they would not allow us to use a toilet.

There was a form pushed out o a small window for us to fill and this was pushed back into the cubicle. We never had our details taken verbally.

I am sorry for you but at least you were smart to divide your money in different pocket, let this be a warning to other visitors.


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
My sympathies to both of you - particularly the treatment you had, NaKwendaSafari from the police. I had heard about this attitude before, hence I didn't make a report on the camera that was stolen from my pocket this spring on the Metro. Robbery fatigue is a good way to describe the attitude of the police.
Let's all vow to be more vigilant and more careful to increase our margin of safety.



New Member
This seems to be an old post but the same happened to be on the 6th of July 2010. Was in the train station taking the escalator to change trains just after arriving in Madrid. It wasn't even past 20 minutes of leaving the airport, but a guy reached into my pocket which stored money that i had there to buy food... when i realized because he nudged my bag, he had already run up the escalator and out of the station. :S

After that I decided to use all euro notes and have more smaller notes which really helped me when i was shopping but prevented such an occurrence from reoccurring.
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Staff member
Unfortunately, pickpocketing in Madrid is an art form. I know Madrid very well, I don't think I have that dazed "where am I?" look on my face, and I can speak Spanish well. Yet, I stick out like a sore thumb as a foreigner, which makes me an easy target. I think that the truth is that those of us who do not live in places where pickpocketing is so common do not have the same instincts about always being vigilant. Even though I KNOW in my head that Madrid is full of pickpockets, I have a hard time keeping the radar on all the time. Sure, when the metro is jammed, or when the crowds are pushing up an escalator or out through a metro gate, then I pay careful attention, but the rest of the time I just lapse into my normal mental state, which means that I am not going to be alert for pickpockets every second of the day.

The way I solved this was not by trying to train myself to be more alert and vigilant, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't do it, and who wants to spoil your day by scrutinizing every person who gets near you anyway? So, I decided to go with one of those under the shirt pouches -- it carries everything essential when I'm in transit. That lets me off the vigilance hook and I don't have to worry. In fact, last spring, one of those clever guys on the metro did open a bag I had in my hand before I realized it, but there was nothing he was interested in, so the only harm done was that sense of being invaded or violated by an alien.

So, I don't want to disagree with those who urge more vigilance and caution, but I do think that realistically many of us are never going to develop that talent/instinct. Now that I've come to that realization, my travel is much less of a hassle, and I just let the pouch take the worry out of the experience.

I know, too, that being pickpocketed gives you a terrible sense of violation, even if you don't lose much, and I hope that the peregrinos on this forum don't have to deal with that on their Caminos.

Buen camino a todos, Laurie
I completely agree with Laurie. In addition to the pouch, I bought a couple of shirts from Travelsmith that have a hidden, zippered breast pocket. That's where credit/debit cards, plane tickets, larger bills go. I also bought some trousers that have a zippered inner side pocket. That's where smaller bills and coins go. There's a handkerchief in my hip pocket. I don't carry a wallet at all.
All this I confess I learned the hard way.

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Hi everybody.

Pickpocketing is usual in Madrid touristic places, in the same way than in all big cities touristic places.

Even more, it's just a risk for our visitors, who normally can be detected for their clothes and accent.

I've never suffered any robbery in Madrid, but I have to say I've been close to be robbed in London (It didn't happened because I was lucky)

The non-touristic places in Madrid, and generally in most points in Spain are quite safe.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.


Active Member
Well, when you arrive with a (more or less big) backpack, you must of course be a traveller whether Spanish or not - I guess, Spanish tourists might encounter the same problem in Madrid.

A young woman (definitely not a Spanish face!!!) stood "glued" against me on the escalator of the subway. I can't say precisely why, but suddenly I returned myself and had a look at her.
At the next escalator, she was there again, close to me... so I turned my backback to the 'wall' of the escalator...
Then she went to the opposite direction, and some minutes later a Spanish man told me that one bag of my backpack was open.
She had tried to take out a small plastic pocket just with unworthy stuff.

I think putting the rain cover above the backpack might be a good protection, so no one can open easily the pockets.


Veteran Member
Thank you for your advice, I will take it in-hand as I always go around with my wallet in my hip pocket. I don't need my space invaded, Thanks David
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