How it works:
- Flash mob robbery: a crowd swarming an area stealing whatever they can.
- Beach, restaurants, bar: where tourists are relaxed, or when they head to the water.
- Bike/moped: riding past with a pillion rider doing the snatch.
- Street, mall, market, shop, park, transportation hub: distracting and snatching from you, then escaping via a getaway car or down a street corner.
- Car: smash and grab at traffic lights.
- Bus: stealing of unattended luggage left in compartments on overnight buses.
- ATM: snatching after cash is dispensed from the machine.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (hotspots – e.g. Arpoador Beach, Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach, Pelourinho, Favela slums in Manaus, during large events and festivals, soccer games, etc)
- 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).