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Theft in Arzúa last night

MelissaOb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
We met some Peregrinas this morning in Arzúa who stayed in the public albergue last night and had cash and mobile phones stolen there during the night. They said the police did a passport check and are looking for a man on a bike... They were shaken, but still had one phone so could contact home, were organizing for new phones and still thankfully had bank cards.

The only thing they said I could help with would be to let people know online if I could, hence the post.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Keep your most important belongings on/with you at all times, also in the shower, and put them in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night. Also, do not drop your backpack outside the cafes while going inside for buying coffe/beer. Trust your neighbors, but don't tempt them.;)
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
So sorry to hear this, but would like to know, out of interest, where they kept their cash and phones (clearly different from where they kept the bank cards) during the night? Like @alexwalker says - always keep things safe and out of the way of temptation for thieves. Hope the rest of their walk will be problem and stress free!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Sadly "the man on a bike" doesn't sound like a pilgrim but a thief with an opportunity. Albergues collect information, passport info, Pilgrims credentials etc. and with these they can track the thieves amount us. Please be careful. I am glad no-one was hurt. As others have pointed out take care of the things you value, wherever you are in the world. Sometime we become high profile "marks" having a backpack in a city. Before Arzua, Ribadiso is a lovely albergue, not in a city, not immune but more aware.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Agree whole heartedly @alexwalker
The only place is the foot of the sleeping bag and keeping the most important things on you all the time! @nidarosa let’s hope they have a clear path for the next few days!
Buen Camino
I also used to assume that the bottom of the sleeping bag was the safest place, but many posts on this forum have alerted me to the fact that thieves know that’s where many people put things. I remember several threads here from people whose bags were slit open at the bottom. I don’t obsess about this but try to clip my fanny pack around a bunk post on the side next to the wall if I have one of those bunks.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
This is from "Slow Camino". Having seen the movie "The Way" where Martin Sheen's pack pack gets stolen by Gypsies, I was a bit afraid of getting robbed and so I took a padlock, mace and a carbon tipped flashlight/weapon.
However the reality is this:
How overblown was my fear of being attacked or robbed on my journey? If there was much less violent crime in Spain than in the United States, how illogical was it that I wanted to carry a carbon-tipped weapon on the Camino, when I would have never considered carrying one walking around Maine? By getting rid of the padlock and the can of mace and the carbon-tipped pen flashlight, I had relieved my pack of weight. But as importantly, I had also dropped some psychological baggage—another one of those things that “just ain’t so” as Mark Twain would say. I decided there was perhaps more cognitive dissonance going on in my life than I knew.
So the next day when I got to Logrono, I found myself at the very swanky F & G Hotel Logrono where I got a pilgrim rate single room for 50 euros. I sat at the writing desk in my room and went online with my iPad to look up international crime and murder statistics. Here is what I found:
You are safer walking the Camino in Spain than any day you spend in the United States.
Rape per 100,000 is 3.4 in Spain and 27.3 in the United States.
The murder rate is 0.9 in Spain and 5 in the United States
Violent crime rate is 10.4 in Spain and 88.8 in the United States

From "Slow Camino"
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2018)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2018)
This is from "Slow Camino". Having seen the movie "The Way" where Martin Sheen's pack pack gets stolen by Gypsies, I was a bit afraid of getting robbed and so I took a padlock, mace and a carbon tipped flashlight/weapon.
However the reality is this:
How overblown was my fear of being attacked or robbed on my journey? If there was much less violent crime in Spain than in the United States, how illogical was it that I wanted to carry a carbon-tipped weapon on the Camino, when I would have never considered carrying one walking around Maine? By getting rid of the padlock and the can of mace and the carbon-tipped pen flashlight, I had relieved my pack of weight. But as importantly, I had also dropped some psychological baggage—another one of those things that “just ain’t so” as Mark Twain would say. I decided there was perhaps more cognitive dissonance going on in my life than I knew.
So the next day when I got to Logrono, I found myself at the very swanky F & G Hotel Logrono where I got a pilgrim rate single room for 50 euros. I sat at the writing desk in my room and went online with my iPad to look up international crime and murder statistics. Here is what I found:
You are safer walking the Camino in Spain than any day you spend in the United States.
Rape per 100,000 is 3.4 in Spain and 27.3 in the United States.
The murder rate is 0.9 in Spain and 5 in the United States
Violent crime rate is 10.4 in Spain and 88.8 in the United States

From "Slow Camino"
Indeed, assault is extremely rare in Spain (even in the cities). Pickpocketing, however, is a problem (in the big cities) and theft can happen anywhere. Surprisingly, given the numbers, organised theft on the Camino is virtually unheard of, although it can happen. Sadly, theft and deceit have always been an integral part of the pilgrimage to Santiago - homo homini lupus.

Likewise, with all their singularities, the Roma community in Spain is largely overrepresented when it comes to portraying crime (with all its accuracies, the description of Sheen and the 'gypsies' is painfully inaccurate in The Way); with less affluent immigrant communities starting to bear the brunt of these stereotypical accusations.
 

Jim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
2011- Camino Potuguese
2014- Camino Frances
2017- Camino Finisterre
Ah thanks for the advice @peregrina2000 I hadn’t heard of the bag splitters and am slightly shocked.
Bags and backpacks have been slit all over Europe-- common ploy thieves to get valuables. I remember walking with a friend near Kensington Palace in London of all places, and a friend's shoulder sac was slit from top to nearly bottom. Earlier we had stopped at a store in same area and she bought a few vegetables for dinner. Nothing was missing because I guess they saw the vegetables and decided to leave us alone. Point is that she never felt a thing and neither of us sensed that someone was that close to us. Be careful-- be very careful!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I also used to assume that the bottom of the sleeping bag was the safest place, but many posts on this forum have alerted me to the fact that thieves know that’s where many people put things. I remember several threads here from people whose bags were slit open at the bottom. I don’t obsess about this but try to clip my fanny pack around a bunk post on the side next to the wall if I have one of those bunks.
I used to sleep in the clothes I was going to walk in the next day, to make for a quick and quiet exit in the morning (we were walking in July/August and wanted to avoid as much as possible walking in the heat of the day). I would sleep with my valuables (passport/credencial/credit cards) in my pockets and my phone under my pillow. They seemed like fairly safe locations to me.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
How safe are albuerge lockers?
Que? A locker is a locker. it is a locked container. Lockers cannot be opened other than by the key-holder: or by anyone adept at using lock-picks, in possession of a prying-bar / jemmy / heavy hammer or angle-grinder.

Given all the advice above about keeping your important and valuable possessions on you at all times why would you want to use a Locker? Thieves want cash; electronics; passports, things of readily realisable value. The market rate for sweaty socks & underwear is pretty depressed these days.... That said, in most Albergues, most of the time, there will be someone about who would probably be alerted by the use of any of the Universal Door-keys I've listed or something similar.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I don't know if this deserves a new thread or not. It probably needs some real time confirmation first.
Someone on the Slow Strollers site reported there was a robbery at the albergue in Estella this morning at 1am (how would anyone know the hour, is beyond me) and several phones and about 1000 euros went missing.
 
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backpack45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
How unfortunate and sad! And as has been pointed out above, this is much less a problem along the Camino than in many parts of the U.S.--but it is more complicated to deal with the matter. My suggestion for other travelers is to wear a money belt, which you can have on all of the time (and of course, secure it while in the shower). Options for reducing your possible loss, divide your cash and carry in two (or more) different places on yourself, in your pack, or whatever. Third, carry more than one credit card and place in different places. Finally, if you are traveling with someone else, the two (or more) of you can carry different credit or ATM cards.
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Keep your most important belongings on/with you at all times, also in the shower, and put them in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night. Also, do not drop your backpack outside the cafes while going inside for buying coffe/beer. Trust your neighbors, but don't tempt them.;)
Can't say it enough or any clearer!
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Piamonte
Aragones
Elizabethpfad
How safe are albuerge lockers?
Not safe. They can be broken-into quite easily by a determined thief. And they are often located remotely from the room in which you sleep. It happened in a certain albergue with an idiosyncratic name in Santiago in which I stayed several years ago.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Being on the Camino is about living in the present moment
Fear of being robbed is projecting yourself into the future.
Eckhart Tolle says "you will never be happy until you stop believing that tomorrow will be better than today!"
Actually any moment you are driving in your car, you are at more risk than walking the Camino!
Still I carried my money and credit cards in a money belt.
 

PAA

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
You are safer walking the Camino in Spain than any day you spend in the United States.
Rape per 100,000 is 3.4 in Spain and 27.3 in the United States.
The murder rate is 0.9 in Spain and 5 in the United States
Violent crime rate is 10.4 in Spain and 88.8 in the United States

From "Slow Camino"
Thanks for the statistics. Good to see the comparison.
 

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