Tourists warned of highway robbery in Spain

Thieves distract tourists’ attention before stealing

Tourists visiting the region around Barcelona are being warned that they may be the target of highway thieves on a busy toll road. More than 120 drivers from the UK alone have fallen victim to theft on the AP-7 motorway between the popular Spanish city and resorts along the coast.

The thieves’ method is to wave for cars to stop and then distract the tourists while one of the criminals steals their possessions. Another trick is to stab a victim’s tyre before pretending to come to the rescue.

The Press Association gives the example of one driver who stopped on the AP-7 north of Barcelona after another car waved him down by making a lot of noise. One of the men engaged him in “animated” conversation about his back wheels while another man sneaked into the front passenger door and emptied the glove box.

Suddenly the man who was speaking stopped in mid-sentence and the thieves drove away at high speed.

“I think it’s very important to have a raised level of awareness,” the victim told a British TV show. “If I had been perhaps slightly more alert on the day and thought twice about what was happening, I might not have got out of the car. I don’t think I would stop in similar circumstances on a Spanish motorway in future.”

Press Association

[photo by Nayu Kim]

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