How it works:
- Two versions: strike and run; distract and grab. Possible scenarios:
- Bike/moped: riding past with a pillion rider doing the snatch.
- Bar, restaurant: stealing unattended bags/valuables on the chair or table.
- Beach: stealing unattended bags/valuables from tourists who are relaxed or in the water.
- Trains to and from the airport: beside a train’s doors where a thief gets out just before the doors close.
- ATMs: snatching cash when it is dispensed at Omonia, Metaxourgio, Monastiraki, Syntagma, etc.
- Car: break-ins to steal valuables or car parts which generally end up at the Monastiraki flea market.
- Watch: asking you about the time and then snatching your phone/watch.
- Anywhere (hotspots – e.g. Athens: Monastiraki, Syntagma, Omonia, Exharchia, Vathis, Kolokotroni, to and from Athens Airport; Larissa: railway station; Peloponissos; railway station)
- Check out other hotspots of violent crime
What to do:
- Valuables: avoid laying out on tables or carrying in your hands while walking.
- Bags: consider using lockable bags that can be locked to another object and cross body anti-theft bags (difficult to snatch).
- Travel insurance: get a good one that covers theft (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – review).