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Thievery on the Camino

crhutch

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2010) March/April SJPP to Santiago and hence to Finisterre
(2016) Hospitalero Grañón 15-31 March
(2016) April Logroño to Santiago
(2017) Hospitalero Zamora 15-31 March
(2017) Hospilatero Emaus, Burgos 1-14 April
I have just finished 16 days as a hospitalero at the Albergue de Peregrinos Emaus in Burgos. I have not seen much on any forum about theft on the Camino so I’d like to give a warning to all. While my albergue was safe, we heard of much thievery on both the Frances and the Norte. A friend of mine son was staying at the Albergue in Guedes on the Norte last night and in the middle of the night robbers snuck in and robbed many pilgrims while they slept. So a word to the wise is to secure your valuables and be attentive all the time. So sad to see the Camino succumbing to this.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
So sad to see the Camino succumbing to this.
The world. :(
Well, it's nothing new: old accounts of the camno from the middle ages are rife with warnings of bandits and thievery. We're backsliding, from the sound of it.
Was stuff stolen out of packs, @crhutch , or from the foot of sleeping bags, or...?
(Just wondering what "secure your valuables" should mean these days...besides the obvious of keeping them around your waist. The challenge is that there are a limited number of things that fit that way, and it offers an uncomfortable night's sleep.)
 

crhutch

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2010) March/April SJPP to Santiago and hence to Finisterre
(2016) Hospitalero Grañón 15-31 March
(2016) April Logroño to Santiago
(2017) Hospitalero Zamora 15-31 March
(2017) Hospilatero Emaus, Burgos 1-14 April
My friend’s son said the thrived entered the albergue through unlocked doors and stole what they could including search rucksacks and sleeping bags of those sleeping.
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
I am so sorry to hear that these elements are creeping in - mind the truth is they have been around for ever - but these days they seem so brazen. What never fails to amaze me is that none of the pilgrims wake up during these times and surely there must be noise incurred even a rustle of a plastic bag gets heavy signs during sleep time - just asking!!!!
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
I am so sorry to hear that these elements are creeping in - mind the truth is they have been around for ever - but these days they seem so brazen. What never fails to amaze me is that none of the pilgrims wake up during these times and surely there must be noise incurred even a rustle of a plastic bag gets heavy signs during sleep time - just asking!!!!
I agree Marylin. There must be some very exhausted Peregrinos.. I would think that at least one person would wake ? These thieves are surely snakes 🐍 in the dark.
So sorry for those people who have saved the minimum to bring the camino within their financial reach and to have their belongings stolen.

Annie
 
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Mugatu

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
Most likely a combination of being exhausted and earplugs aided those thieves in going unnoticed. Just another reminder to always keep your valuables on your person
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Yes
In many cases these are experienced thieves often posing as pilgrims themselves. They know the routines and watch before lights out to know where people have left valuables or cash. They sometimes befriend folks during the day and then offer to "watch" your stuff while you shower.:eek:

Years ago, it was a common story that some dirt bags would walk along with a pilgrim and bring the conversation around to where would be a good place to carry cash and valuables..saying they have not be able to come up with a good place. The victim would nearly always explain where they hid their cash. The end of the story is obvious.

Be at least as careful as you would in any room full of strangers.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
In many cases these are experienced thieves often posing as pilgrims themselves. They know the routines and watch before lights out to know where people have left valuables or cash. They sometimes befriend folks during the day and then offer to "watch" your stuff while you shower.:eek:
Wow, this is sneaky! It's never crossed my mind to think that someone who seems to be a 'real' pilgrim could actually be a thief.

Scam artists yes...but theft? Maybe I'm more naive than I thought.
I guess the lesson is don't be paranoid, but don't to leave your intelligence at home, either.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Sorry to hear, @crhutch! Maybe you can add a bit more details? I believe it would be important to divide the rumours from the real stories. 'Much thievery on both the Frances and the Norte' sounds massive, but also very vague. As far as I know there were no recent reports about robbery on the forum.

The theft in Guedes (do you mean Güemes?) sounds pretty serious: more than one robber, they sneaked in in the middle of the night and went throught the bags (and even sleeping bags!) of several pilgrims. So far I haven't been able to find anything about it in the local news, which surprises me a little bit.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe what you have been told. But so far this is a third hand story (the son of a friend of yours). And these stories can spread like wildfire, while in the end nobody seems to know what really happened.
 
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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
The saddest thief story I ever heard was on my very first Camino.
A group of students were befriended by a nice "pilgrim" on their way from Roncesvalles to Pamplona.
When they arrived in Pamplona, the "pilgrim" offered to stay and watch everything while they showered.
She watched it ok... and when they returned, their cash, credit cards, and valuables were gone with the wind,
and with the "nice pilgrim lady."
It was the end of the Camino for 3 very sorry, but very wizened pilgrims.
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I don't think a bit of rustling noise from somewhere in the dorm would cause that much of an alert. Pilgrims go to the toilet in the night, stumble over bags, are early risers. Most of us would assume it's someone leaving early and try to block out the noise. Hopefully we'd notice if it was right next to our own bunk, but then maybe we wouldn't.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
Wow, this is sneaky! It's never crossed my mind to think that someone who seems to be a 'real' pilgrim could actually be a thief.
Like nobody would buy a ticket for Glastonbury or Womad festivals and spend their time harvesting tents instead of watching the bands. Sadly the economics: cost of Albergue bed for the night offset by the gains to be gleaned from the careless, are easily calculated.
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Like nobody would buy a ticket for Glastonbury or Womad festivals and spend their time harvesting tents instead of watching the bands. Sadly the economics: cost of Albergue bed for the night offset by the gains to be gleaned from the careless, are easily calculated.

But at Glastonbury they don't take your passport details when you arrive.

I can't help thinking it would be incredibly risky to sign in as a pilgrim and commit a crime.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Like nobody would buy a ticket for Glastonbury or Womad festivals and spend their time harvesting tents instead of watching the bands.
My God, I AM naive. I would never in a million years have thought people do that.:oops:

As far as albergues are concerned, it would probably be pretty easy to use a fake passport and then vanish in the morning like smoke on a windy day. No hospis are going to be checking.
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
My God, I AM naive. I would never in a million years have thought people do that.:oops:

As far as albergues are concerned, it would probably be pretty easy to use a fake passport and then vanish in the morning like smoke on a windy day. No hospis are going to be checking.

Going to the trouble of getting and paying for a fake passport to commit petty crime on the camino seems very unlikely. You could maybe at the outside use it three times before it became useless.

Edit- Details of all passports are sent to the police each day.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2012
Going to the trouble of getting and paying for a fake passport to commit petty crime on the camino seems very unlikely. You could maybe at the outside use it three times before it became useless.

Edit- Details of all passports are sent to the police each day.
You are misinterpreting "passport" in the pilgrim sense. A Pilgrims' passport, the Credential, is readily available at minimal cost and easily reproduced, sellos and all.

And yes many places require presentation of a national passport or ID card. All are required to, most comply. And indeed all that data is fed, every day into the police data munching machine. And yet still the wolf packs harry the herd. Just not for more than three days on the trot and certainly not in succession.
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Ah yes, I did perhaps get confused between pilgrim and real passports.

I don't think I've ever been to an Albergue that didn't require a proper passport.

On my last Camino a German man had his passport checked by the police twice I think, so they clearly do use the data and not just collect it.
 

crhutch

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2010) March/April SJPP to Santiago and hence to Finisterre
(2016) Hospitalero Grañón 15-31 March
(2016) April Logroño to Santiago
(2017) Hospitalero Zamora 15-31 March
(2017) Hospilatero Emaus, Burgos 1-14 April
Sorry to hear, @crhutch! Maybe you can add a bit more details? I believe it would be important to divide the rumours from the real stories. 'Much thievery on both the Frances and the Norte' sounds massive, but also very vague. As far as I know there were no recent reports about robbery on the forum.

The theft in Guedes (do you mean Güemes?) sounds pretty serious: more than one robber, they sneaked in in the middle of the night and went throught the bags (and even sleeping bags!) of several pilgrims. So far I haven't been able to find anything about it in the local news, which surprises me a little bit.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe what you have been told. But so far this is a third hand story (the son of a friend of yours). And these stories can spread like wildfire, while in the end nobody seems to know what really happened.
Over Holy Week a number of pilgrims were robbed in Roncesvales and Zubiri. It was reported to us by other hospitaleros that over €2000 Euros and a number of passports were stolen. Subsequently a number of pilgrims confirmed the account. Also I read on the forum a pilgrim staying at the municipal albergue in Burgos was lucky to wake up and stop someone from robbing her. Yes the Norte albergue was Güemes and I should say that this was not third hand info. My friend’s son emailed me this morning about the robbery. My point is for pilgrims to practice securing their valuables and not be a victim.
 
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Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Thanks for the extra details, @crhutch. Passports and all that money, that sounds terrible. I hope it doesn't lead to mistrust among pilgrims. Do you know if any of the robbers have been caught?
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Like nobody would buy a ticket for Glastonbury or Womad festivals and spend their time harvesting tents instead of watching the bands. Sadly the economics: cost of Albergue bed for the night offset by the gains to be gleaned from the careless, are easily calculated.
Happened to my friends and I at Glastonbury in '93. Luckily I personally had nothing worth stealing.

Don't know if I felt proud, or offended...
 

dfox

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
In many cases these are experienced thieves often posing as pilgrims themselves. They know the routines and watch before lights out to know where people have left valuables or cash. They sometimes befriend folks during the day and then offer to "watch" your stuff while you shower.:eek:

"Social engineering" is what IT security folks name this "hacking" strategy/approach.
 

Trude

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
I have just finished 16 days as a hospitalero at the Albergue de Peregrinos Emaus in Burgos. I have not seen much on any forum about theft on the Camino so I’d like to give a warning to all. While my albergue was safe, we heard of much thievery on both the Frances and the Norte. A friend of mine son was staying at the Albergue in Guedes on the Norte last night and in the middle of the night robbers snuck in and robbed many pilgrims while they slept. So a word to the wise is to secure your valuables and be attentive all the time. So sad to see the Camino succumbing to this.

You are right this year has seen a lot of thefts in Albergues take care Pilgrims we are easy targets.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Dorpie, I hate to say it but the police have more important things to do than track down someone’s passport number due to a petty crime, even if it was a petty crime multiple time over the same night at the same address. I am sure they just shrug their shoulders and think these naive foreigners should be more careful with their tiny fortunes gone missing.
 
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tomishy

Member
Past OR future Camino
April/May 2019
There was also theft last night at Puenta la Reina by a man pretending to be a pilgrim. However he was caught with money, phone's and shoes. He was also making inappropriate sexual remarks to the female pilgrims.
The warning is on fb on the Camino 2019/2020 page... makes one nervous as we are heading tjere tomorrow :(
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I certainly don't want to provide misinformation but regarding the theft in Güemes, I believe I read (on Facebook?) that the police were called in and thief/thieves caught. Can anyone corroborate this?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
On my last Camino a German man had his passport checked by the police twice I think, so they clearly do use the data and not just collect it.
Just out of curiosity - did they come and check at the albergue or was it on the path? I'm really just curious, I think Spain is one of the countries that takes the protection of personal data seriously and has also strict rules that regulate linking and mining of databases of the different government entities.
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Just out of curiosity - did they come and check at the albergue or was it on the path? I'm really just curious, I think Spain is one of the countries that takes the protection of personal data seriously and has also strict rules that regulate linking and mining of databases of the different government entities.

At the albergue.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Wow, this is sneaky! It's never crossed my mind to think that someone who seems to be a 'real' pilgrim could actually be a thief.

Scam artists yes...but theft? Maybe I'm more naive than I thought.
I guess the lesson is don't be paranoid, but don't to leave your intelligence at home, either.

I had a friend who was a member of the NYPD - married one of my classmates. He used to give us little 'lessons' about how to be safe. Like if you must carry a handbag on NYC streets, have it tucked up right under your arm. And if you had a car in NYC (not advisable really, but then..) NEVER leave anything in the car. If it's an empty paper bag, thieves might break a window to see if there wasn't something of value. His closing statement was the best, not quite in jest: "After all, It's not fair to tempt people to a life of crime."


Over Holy Week a number of pilgrims were robbed in Roncesvales and Zubiri. It was reported to us by other hospitaleros that over €2000 Euros and a number of passports were stolen. Subsequently a number of pilgrims confirmed the account. Also I read on the forum a pilgrim staying at the municipal albergue in Burgos was lucky to wake up and stop someone from robbing her. Yes the Norte albergue was Güemes and I should say that this was not third hand info. My friend’s son emailed me this morning about the robbery. My point is for pilgrims to practice securing their valuables and not be a victim.


As to that last sentence, my old friend, the cop in NYC said, after advice about keeping self and belongings safe: "After all, it's not fair to tempt people to a life of crime." :cool:
oops, thought my previous statement got lost, so here it is again........ Sorry.
 
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susanawee

susanawee
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
The world. :(
Well, it's nothing new: old accounts of the camno from the middle ages are rife with warnings of bandits and thievery. We're backsliding, from the sound of it.
Was stuff stolen out of packs, @crhutch , or from the foot of sleeping bags, or...?
(Just wondering what "secure your valuables" should mean these days...besides the obvious of keeping them around your waist. The challenge is that there are a limited number of things that fit that way, and it offers an uncomfortable night's sleep.)
There are ways and means of hiding things such as phones, but, I do concede that something like a Large SLR camera would be quite a bit harder to hide away whilst you are sleeping.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
The world. :(
Well, it's nothing new: old accounts of the camno from the middle ages are rife with warnings of bandits and thievery. We're backsliding, from the sound of it.
Was stuff stolen out of packs, @crhutch , or from the foot of sleeping bags, or...?
(Just wondering what "secure your valuables" should mean these days...besides the obvious of keeping them around your waist. The challenge is that there are a limited number of things that fit that way, and it offers an uncomfortable night's sleep.)
So is everything alright then! "it's nothing new: old accounts of the camno from the middle ages are rife with warnings of bandits and thievery."
 

Daddycool

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Poruguese
We stayed in Getaria on the Norte on the 13th April this year. The following day we met several pilgrims who had been robbed in the albergue that night. They estimated some €2000 in total as well as phones. The man had not socialised and had stayed in bed on his phone in the evening. One French lad lost his passport, phone and boots so left for home that day. It would seem that by taking a passport the thief could repeat the theft in another albergue. The police told the pilgrims that they had an idea of who the culprit could be.
 
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Deleted member 67338

Guest
I had my Fitbit knocked off at Puente la Reina and caught the tea leaf the next morning by chance, it’s safe to say the pilgrim probably struggled to use toilet paper for a few weeks. A week later my pommy mate another ex serviceman who was walking in support and raising money fir a kid dying of a brain tumour had his new boots knocked off in Casteroitz so we organised a few euros for him to get a new set of shoes 👟
 
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Deleted member 67338

Guest
I had my Fitbit knocked off at Puente la Reina and caught the tea leaf the next morning by chance, it’s safe to say the pilgrim probably struggled to use toilet paper for a few weeks. A week later my pommy mate another ex serviceman who was walking in support and raising money fir a kid dying of a brain tumour had his new boots knocked off in Casteroitz so we organised a few euros for him to get a new set of shoes 👟
Few weeks later that is
 
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4 Eyes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
Thank you all. Will need to watch out for my boots from now on.
 

Llew

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances & Finisterre 2012, Norte, Ingles,Finisterre & Muxia 2015, Australian (2016), Portuguese 2018
For the life of me I cannot understand why people do not buy a money belt to keep their cash, credit card and passport in. You can wear this all the time, take it off but keep it with you in the shower, and no one need know you have it on. I find it unbelievable that people would keep large sums of money in their back pack.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .

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Thornley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I find it unbelievable that people would keep large sums of money in their back pack.

Agree 1000% percent.
1 euro a coffee / 1 euro a beer / 2 euro a red wine / 10 euros a meal / 10 euros albergue and a village every 2-3 days maximum where you can withdraw money and if you want to play up double it , still only 100e .
The hardest degree in the Uni to obtain was common sense.
 
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arturo garcia

Pilgrim/Hospitalero/Mountain guide/Photographer
Past OR future Camino
French way (Dic. 2012), Portuguese way (Dic.2013) and now living on the Camino.
My God, I AM naive. I would never in a million years have thought people do that.:oops:

As far as albergues are concerned, it would probably be pretty easy to use a fake passport and then vanish in the morning like smoke on a windy day. No hospis are going to be checking.

According to the laws and regulations of private albergues, hostels and hotels in Spain, we have to ask for the passport and verify its validity in situ, then within 24 hours enter that data in an app on the computer. these data go directly to the police. I do this before going to sleep every night, only 2 times in 4 years have the police called me back to ask for extra information from a person. All private albergues has to follow and do this every single day. only the donativo albergues do not have the obligation to do it.
If your passport is fake , the police will call the albergue.

Once I posted in this forum about people who sometimes get out of the albergue in the middle of the night to smoke and when they come back they don´t close the door propertly, and that is a risk for the security. They do that because it obvious that we cannot lock the door for security and take advantage.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
All private albergues has to follow and do this every single day. only the donativo albergues do not have the obligation to do it.
If your passport is fake , the police will call the albergue.
If thieves know this (which they likely do as they are sometimes more clever than we would like to admit), then there would be more risk in donativos, right?
 

arturo garcia

Pilgrim/Hospitalero/Mountain guide/Photographer
Past OR future Camino
French way (Dic. 2012), Portuguese way (Dic.2013) and now living on the Camino.
If thieves know this (which they likely do as they are sometimes more clever than we would like to admit), then there would be more risk in donativos, right?
I won´t say that, each albergue has its internal rules and its own guidelines about this and everyday is a different day and situation,, for example, we do not allow visits of other pilgrims or friends that are not staying and registered in our place. People can gather and talk at the Bar. In my case, my room is in the entrance of the albergue and I can hear when people try to go out in the middle of the night to "Smoke", so I can stop them.
even this happens having said all the rules of the albergue when pilgrims arrive, but some people take it for granted. Some hospitaleros, tired of this situation, lock the door at the night, what is not allowed for security.
when I say that donativos albergues don´t have to do send the info to the police, doesn´t mean that they don´t do it, must of them do it.
 
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arturo garcia

Pilgrim/Hospitalero/Mountain guide/Photographer
Past OR future Camino
French way (Dic. 2012), Portuguese way (Dic.2013) and now living on the Camino.
I have just finished 16 days as a hospitalero at the Albergue de Peregrinos Emaus in Burgos. I have not seen much on any forum about theft on the Camino so I’d like to give a warning to all. While my albergue was safe, we heard of much thievery on both the Frances and the Norte. A friend of mine son was staying at the Albergue in Guedes on the Norte last night and in the middle of the night robbers snuck in and robbed many pilgrims while they slept. So a word to the wise is to secure your valuables and be attentive all the time. So sad to see the Camino succumbing to this.
I wonder if this people you heard this went to report at the police. Police in Spain is very clever and they will work very efficiently on that. there is no need to create a panic, Spain is one of the safest countries in the world.
 
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Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
According to the laws and regulations of private albergues, hostels and hotels in Spain, we have to ask for the passport and verify its validity in situ, then within 24 hours enter that data in an app on the computer. these data go directly to the police. I do this before going to sleep every night, only 2 times in 4 years have the police called me back to ask for extra information from a person. All private albergues has to follow and do this every single day. only the donativo albergues do not have the obligation to do it.
If your passport is fake , the police will call the albergue.

Once I posted in this forum about people who sometimes get out of the albergue in the middle of the night to smoke and when they come back they don´t close the door propertly, and that is a risk for the security. They do that because it obvious that we cannot lock the door for security and take advantage.
thank you for your clarification.. I had never heard of registering details on a daily basis with the police - because my experience as a hospitalera has only been in a donative albergue. Of course details of passports are recorded in donativos, in a register, to be available for inspection.
 
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A friend told me of her recent first hand experience on the Camino. Four weeks ago she was one of18 people staying in a dorm in the Albergue in Arzua. In the early morning17 phones+cash, many that had been charging overnight, were taken. "Peregrino no 18" disappeared overnight and his passport details when checked by police were discovered to be fake.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Four weeks ago she was one of18 people staying in a dorm in the Albergue in Arzua. In the early morning17 phones+cash, many that had been charging overnight, were taken. "Peregrino no 18" disappeared overnight and his passport details when checked by police were discovered to be fake.

The word spreads very quickly in the shady world of thieves / receivers and conmen.
 

Nana6

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
France ( 2020)
Over Holy Week a number of pilgrims were robbed in Roncesvales and Zubiri. It was reported to us by other hospitaleros that over €2000 Euros and a number of passports were stolen. Subsequently a number of pilgrims confirmed the account. Also I read on the forum a pilgrim staying at the municipal albergue in Burgos was lucky to wake up and stop someone from robbing her. Yes the Norte albergue was Güemes and I should say that this was not third hand info. My friend’s son emailed me this morning about the robbery. My point is for pilgrims to practice securing their valuables and not be a victim.
Do you need to sleep with your backpack?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Do you need to sleep with your backpack?
Your backpack will be near your bed. Do not leave any valuables in it. The only valuables you "should" be carrying anyway are: passport, credit cards, cash - all of them should be attached to your body at all times except when you are showering (when they should be in sight) -and your phone, which should be tucked securely into some case/bag/holder inside your sleeping bag but close to your body.
 
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Nana6

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
France ( 2020)
If you feel a strong personal attraction, why not ;)

But following the theme of this thread I would ask why would you need to. Your valuables should be on you or in bed with you, not in your backpack.
I asked because they said thieves where going through the packs I would not leave my phone in a pack. Worrisome, since many charge the phones at night
 

RumAndChupacabras

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
If you have the means @Nana6 do it. Otherwise I heard from a great teacher once who said....

I send you out as lambs among the wolves. Be as wise as serpents but gentle as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

I pay money here because the forum is worth it. If you look at the Crime Watch section, it's not nearly as well-posted in as the equipment section. That actually inspires me to hope. The Spanish people are known for respecting pilgrims. The bad apples can deter some but not me. I will crush the bad apple and the worm with it under my Keens. I will not be afraid. I will be savvy. I will carry my money, passport, etc in a very private place. I will practice using my whistle for the flashers. I will be smart and not consume alcohol in public. I will practice swinging my poles like Arya's dragonglass quarterstaff. I will fight with the intent to cause harm to an assaulter.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2012
The more I hear about the Albergues the more I wonder if I need to stay in private accommodation
@Nana6 your decision to stay in Albergues or Hotels is between you and your inclinations and budget. For context try spending a few hours searching "Hotel" robbery/thefts on Godgle (you know who I mean) instead of "Albergue". My Aunt had her heart stolen by a Swiss waiter but thats another story.

I've had my pocket picked in Madrid - they got an empty wallet and a bloody nose; I've been surrounded by Berbers in the depths of the Sahel - I didn't buy the carpet; I've been mugged on the streets of Brighton - they got a kick in the groolies and I got a nasty scar. And in Albergues: well there was a hospitalera one time who nearly stole my heart but thats another story and besides this. Well, a few simple precautions, a little attention, the exercise of that common sense that seems so rare these days. I would rather sleep in an Albergue than a 5 Star Hotel. And thats because in a 5 Star Hotel I would know I was being ripped-off whereas in an Albergue the chances of that happening are very extremely rare.
 

Nana6

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
France ( 2020)
@Nana6, Have you read how many of us keep our valuables (Passport, Credential and money) on our persons? It's not difficult. Let me run out and grab some posts. BRB...
This whole thread has lots of good ideas (mostly :p):
Here's what I do: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...on-lock-bags-portable-safes.61529/post-732517
Yes. I know how to keep most valuables. Just was concerned about thieves breaking in and taking backpacks or phones
 

Nana6

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
France ( 2020)
Yes. I know how to keep most valuables. Just was concerned about thieves breaking in and taking backpacks or phones
Evidently, my post may have offended. It was meant as concern. I am not as travelled as you I apologise.
I am capable of keeping my belongings.
Thank you
 

RumAndChupacabras

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
@Nana6 speaking only for myself, you in no way 'offended'. I don't think that it's a matter of being as or not as, 'traveled'. I'm guessing we all just kinda' hope for perfection. Just like everything in life, there's pre and post. Before we do something for the first time, x, y and z. Yet after we've done something for the first time YAY!!! Well, something like that. ;)
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Last November stayed as usual at Albergue del convento de las Carbajalas in Leon. Very disciplined thieves ignored the mini city of blinking hi-end smart phones that were charging overnight and just took euros from the Korean and Japanese pilgrims. They reckoned that these pilgrims wouldn't report the theft and as far as I'm aware from what I heard afterwards, they were right.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Just was concerned about thieves breaking in and taking backpacks or phones
@Nana6 - I'm not sure if it was clear that phones should not be left out in the open, charging, at night. Your phone should be charged at a time when you can keep an eye on it, and then stashed away hidden and close during the night.
 

Nana6

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
France ( 2020)
@Nana6 - I'm not sure if it was clear that phones should not be left out in the open, charging, at night. Your phone should be charged at a time when you can keep an eye on it, and then stashed away hidden and close during the night.
Thanks.

I did not know that. All I had read were to bring a charger with extra plugs to share
 

RumAndChupacabras

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
@Nana6...NO WORRIES!
We are all kinds of people at all stages of life (which, I'm pretty certain you realize). If we don't ask, how will we know?! Stick with this woman and you'll expand your CAMINO knowledge.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
@Nana6 - I'm not sure if it was clear that phones should not be left out in the open, charging, at night. Your phone should be charged at a time when you can keep an eye on it, and then stashed away hidden and close during the night.
Thanks.

I did not know that. All I had read were to bring a charger with extra plugs to share
One morning prior to heading out, I sat catching up on some reading while my phone was charging next to me. A pilgrim came by and indicated that he also wanted to use the outlet. That was an instance when I wished I had had with me a charger with extra plugs.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
A friend told me of her recent first hand experience on the Camino. Four weeks ago she was one of18 people staying in a dorm in the Albergue in Arzua. In the early morning17 phones+cash, many that had been charging overnight, were taken. "Peregrino no 18" disappeared overnight and his passport details when checked by police were discovered to be fake.
This story just doesn't ring true for me. All 17 non thief pilgrims in this dorm left their phones and cash out in the open while they slept?? Not a single one slept with their phone and valuables next to them in their sleeping bag or liner?
 
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06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
There was at least 4 thefts last night in Roncleaves.

2 phones, unknown quantity of money, and one elderly man had 1200€ taken.

Someone I met had money taken in SJPdP the night before that.

Really sad
tarasis, what a shocking list. I m so sorry for those who had items taken. I just hope the elderly man is insured. You have learned something crucial very early. Mind how you go.
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
tarasis, what a shocking list. I m so sorry for those who had items taken. I just hope the elderly man is insured. You have learned something crucial very early. Mind how you go.
Unfortunately, most travel insurance policies (AFAIK) don't compensate more than a few hundred Euros for lost or stolen cash. I hope that that the elderly man isn't facing difficulties because of this. For most people who have credit cards and ATM cards, it makes no sense to carry so much cash.
 

Nana6

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
France ( 2020)
There was at least 4 thefts last night in Roncleaves.

2 phones, unknown quantity of money, and one elderly man had 1200€ taken.

Someone I met had money taken in SJPdP the night before that.

Really sad
Do you know where it happened? In the Albergue?
 

tarasis

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2019)
Portuguese (Porto) (2019)
Do you know where it happened? In the Albergue?

It was. Happened sometime after 10pm (At least in the case of the phone’s, someone used find my phone to see where it had gone, and 2am it was nearly to Pampalona)

tarasis, what a shocking list. I m so sorry for those who had items taken. I just hope the elderly man is insured. You have learned something crucial very early. Mind how you go.

Don’t know if the man had insurance. I didnt manage to see him today, or his sister (they’re doing it together) but I had met them at Orrison yesterday.

But yet, lesson learned. I was already aware of this thread and have been carrying anything particularly valuable with me when out for a walk (ipad, passport, credit card)
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I don't understand why any adult would not be aware, without even reading this thread, that they should not leave portable valuables out exposed to people they don't know who could so easily walk off with them. Sure we all decide to take risks, and make guesses about whether the items are safe in a particular situation, but no one should be surprised that there are thieves all around the world. And always have been!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Just was concerned about thieves (...) taking backpacks (...)
Well, one day I thought I would be nice and helpful and brought my pilgrim friend’s rucksack closer to where we were seating..... (He was ordering the drinks and we were outside on a terrace)
Only to have one very indignant peregrina yelling at me ‘What do you think you’re doing???’ 😳 I had picked the wrong rucksack 😱 Oops. 😄
This was just to bring a smile in an otherwise serious thread 😉(True story though).
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Actually, I have one serious comment and it has nothing to do with albergues: be careful when going on a bus and putting your bag in the hold. It is not unknown for thieves to take them whilst the driver is waiting for everyone to come on board (and the door stays open). Can happen in any country and recently to a friend of mine’s husband, on a train 😳 In Switzerland.
 
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Nana6

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
France ( 2020)
Well, one day I thought I would be nice and helpful and brought my pilgrim friend’s rucksack closer to where we were seating..... (He was ordering the drinks and we were outside on a terrace)
Only to have one very indignant peregrina yelling at me ‘What do you think you’re doing???’ 😳 I had picked the wrong rucksack 😱 Oops. 😄
This was just to bring a smile in an otherwise serious thread 😉(True story though).
That is funny! However, you were trying to help
 
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Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
I don't understand why any adult would not be aware, without even reading this thread, that they should not leave portable valuables out exposed to people they don't know who could so easily walk off with them. Sure we all decide to take risks, and make guesses about whether the items are safe in a particular situation, but no one should be surprised that there are thieves all around the world. And always have been!

That is the difference to the intended pilgrimage practise only until a very few years ago, compare to the intended cheep tourism " pilgrimage" of now day. That why last year, after having said goodbye to James I decided would be my last, I lost on the way that special feeling and specially they managed to empty my soul of that spiritual drive that drove me on for the last seven year, I felt that I din't want to be in the way of the new "pilgrim", we lost the respect that I used to feel by the local and consequently we are treated now (rightly) as tourist wanting to take advantage of they situation. We used to have in the municipal alberge light out at ten, now day up until one in the morning people com back in the dormitory zipping and an zipping, opening plastic bag without any care of other that are trying to catch up with the fatigue of the day, the same people that complain because the pilgrims (rightly so) start they journey at the first light.
It is now a couple of year I have felt and said so to my friend in Spain that the tourism has killed the true pilgrimage. We used to live our portable anywhere in the building to charge without any worry, we trusted each other, I understand not any more and this is very sad.
Buen Camino to everyone and James be with you all.
Ernesto X X
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I don't understand why any adult would not be aware, without even reading this thread, that they should not leave portable valuables out exposed to people they don't know who could so easily walk off with them
Especially in an albergue like Roncesvalles where lockers are provided.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
We used to have in the municipal alberge light out at ten, now day up until one in the morning people com back in the dormitory zipping and an zipping, opening plastic bag without any care of other that are trying to catch up with the fatigue of the day, the same people that complain because the pilgrims (rightly so) start they journey at the first light.

Beautifully said Ernesto
If people look at your past Camino's especially 2013 / 4 / 5 they will realise you have seen it all and your words are the truth.
Enjoy the rest of your journey ,and keep well.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
be careful when going on a bus and putting your bag in the hold. It is not unknown for thieves to take them whilst the driver is waiting for everyone to come on board (and the door stays open). Can happen in any country and recently to a friend of mine’s husband, on a train 😳 In Switzerland.
How can one be careful, I wonder? You have to get on the bus while the hold is still open, or you are on the bus during an intermediate stop while loading and unloading goes on and you are sitting on your assigned seat and can’t see much, especially not if you are sitting on the other side. So what do you advise in practical terms? And is it really a concern? I’ve been now on a few bus trips in Spain, getting to a starting point or leaving after finishing, and I’ve never worried about my backpack in the hold.

As to trains, there is a new trick in town, or rather on trains, and we’ve been made aware of it some years ago already (for trains in Germany), especially when your train stops in a major station: pay attention to your handbag and don’t put it on the seat next to you while you are settling in. Thieves may enter the train, walk quickly through your carriage, snatch your handbag, leave the train again, and while the train sets in motion, you notice that your handbag is gone!
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
How can one be careful, I wonder? You have to get on the bus while the hold is still open, or you are on the bus during an intermediate stop while loading and unloading goes on and you are sitting on your assigned seat and can’t see much, especially not if you are sitting on the other side. So what do you advise in practical terms? And is it really a concern? I’ve been now on a few bus trips in Spain, getting to a starting point or leaving after finishing, and I’ve never worried about my backpack in the hold.
I stay outside until the hold is shut.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
As to trains, there is a new trick in town, or rather on trains, and we’ve been made aware of it some years ago already (for trains in Germany), especially when your train stops in a major station: pay attention to your handbag and don’t put it on the seat next to you while you are settling in. Thieves may enter the train, walk quickly through your carriage, snatch your handbag, leave the train again, and while the train sets in motion, you notice that your handbag is gone!
That is precisely what happened, except it was a bag put on the rack above the seat. It contained photographic equipment, the thieves must have spotted it before he boarded the train. It was very quick.
 

Nana6

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
France ( 2020)
How can one be careful, I wonder? You have to get on the bus while the hold is still open, or you are on the bus during an intermediate stop while loading and unloading goes on and you are sitting on your assigned seat and can’t see much, especially not if you are sitting on the other side. So what do you advise in practical terms? And is it really a concern? I’ve been now on a few bus trips in Spain, getting to a starting point or leaving after finishing, and I’ve never worried about my backpack in the hold.

As to trains, there is a new trick in town, or rather on trains, and we’ve been made aware of it some years ago already (for trains in Germany), especially when your train stops in a major station: pay attention to your handbag and don’t put it on the seat next to you while you are settling in. Thieves may enter the train, walk quickly through your carriage, snatch your handbag, leave the train again, and while the train sets in motion, you notice that your handbag is gone!
Are you not allowed to hold your backpack? Or place under a seat?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Are you not allowed to hold your backpack? Or place under a seat?
I'm pretty sure that a backpack wouldn't fit under the seat, and depending on the length of the journey, holding it would be impractical, and possibly annoying to your seat mates.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2019
Planning: CP / CF or CdN 2022
Are you not allowed to hold your backpack? Or place under a seat?
No, at least yesterday on ALSA and Estella.es everybody had to put their backpack into the hold. The drivers were quite adamant about that issue. They even wanted me to put my smaller bag there which I refused, because I had all my valuables in there plus my medication.
 
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Thornley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I'm pretty sure that a backpack wouldn't fit under the seat,

Can you imagine a backpack on your lap ?
On the floor is impossible.
ALSA which travels the length of Spain and beyond , the same distances travelled by more expensive plane travel operates under the same OHS rules as any airline in the world.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I stay outside until the hold is shut.
OK. I’ve taken my clues from the Spanish passengers and just filed into the bus with them. There still remains the problem of the stops. One would have to get off the bus at each stop, no?
Are you not allowed to hold your backpack? Or place under a seat?
As someone said, the bus drivers seem adamant that the backpacks go into the hold, both on regional and national lines, and I’ve never questioned it. But I checked the rules now (to which you agree when you buy a ticket). Anything that doesn’t fit into the overhead luggage rack has to go into the hold. These racks are quite small and don’t have enough space for pilgrim backpacks in the usual sizes.

Of course, I take a small bag with money, ID card, iPhone etc with me into the bus. Some buses have WiFi and I like to call up maps to know where I am and what it is that I see outside. 😊
 
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