How it works:
- Motoclock: snatching your watch/phone/bag, then escaping on a bike.
- Maletazos: they wait at hotels for you to unload your luggage from a taxi/van. Once you do, they grab your luggage, throw into a getaway car and escape.
- Bar, restaurant: stealing unattended bags/valuables on the chair or table.
- Train/bus: snatching and getting out just before the doors close; stealing unattended bags/luggage in luggage compartments.
- Car/taxi: smashing your window and snatching your valuables at traffic lights or in crowded traffic.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (hotspots – e.g. Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, Pucon, Villarica, etc)
- Check out other hotspots of violent crime
What to do:
- Valuables: avoid laying out on tables or carrying in your hands while walking. When in traffic, keep car windows up and doors locked and do not expose valuables.
- 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).