Spain’s Costa del Sol is suffering a high spate of muggings and robberies as poverty takes hold in the region.
WITH the economic crisis starting to bite hard on Spain’s Costa del Sol, more and more undesirables are turning to crime for financial gain.
According to the police this morning, an officer told the Euro Weekly News that muggings and bag snatches are now at the highest rate since the 2009/10 period.
House robberies are also on the increase too as thieves adopt new tactics.
The officer said: “Bag snatches are at premium levels, despite there being fewer people on the streets and unfortunately it’s involving mugging too.
“We are now setting up covert plain-clothed operations to catch the perpetrators, although the situation needs to be highlighted so law-abiding citizens are aware.
“We are advising residents to carry handbags and man bags at all times and not to just have the strap over the shoulder – thieves are using knives to slash the strap and grab the bag.
“Try not to carry in bags, documents with your address on and house keys, thieves are using these details to rob houses and villas knowing that you are out and probably dealing with the situation of the ‘snatch’ when the likes of credit cards go missing, the villains know the thought process is to start ringing banks and credit card companies first, whilst they could be robbing your home.
“In the last seven days, nine home robberies have come from bag snatches where details have been obtained and also a theft of a high powered sports car,” the officer warned.
Another scenario taking place, especially in the region of the feria ground in Fuengirola is ‘door knocking for cash’ – the door knockers are requesting a euro for food from unsuspecting homeowners or tenants in apartment blocks, as the person goes to collect a coin, thieves pounce and grab what they can and run whilst the front door is open or not locked.
Darren Gilbert described what happened to him:
“A young man, looking Moroccan or possibly Spanish knocked my apartment door, he looked scruffy and sad, he asked if I could give him just a euro to get some bread as he explained he was starving, I thought, hey it’s only a euro, went to my lounge to get a coin, before I knew it my briefcase was gone from our hallway and they had scarpered, I say they as I think there was more than one of them.”
Residents around the feria ground have also been posting to social media groups in the Fuengirola area sharing the same experiences, but thankfully not robbed.
Tom, a barman from the Caribbean bar, in Carjaval was another victim of bag theft last week as he strolled with his young son Lennie, he decided to stop to get his two-year-old a drink in the heat and within seconds his bag was gone, he said:
“The establishment was near on empty, as I took Lennie out of his pushchair, I placed my bag right next to me, within a flash it was gone, it was a nightmare, my phone was also in the bag and I lost all my credit cards, residency papers the lot – it took hours to sort out and has been a complete ball ache since.”
“As always, poverty leads to crime, stay safe and be on guard” is the advice from the law.