How it works:
- Two versions: strike and run; distract and grab. Possible scenarios:
- 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.
- Bar, restaurant: stealing unattended bags/valuables on the chair or table.
- Hotel, airport: where distracted/tired tourists carry all their valuables out.
- Beach: where tourists are relaxed, or when they head to the water.
- Overnight bus: stealing of unattended luggage left in luggage compartments.
- ATM: snatching after cash is dispensed from the machine.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (hotspots – e.g. Bogota: Barrio La Candelaria, Ciudad Bolivar; Medellin: Plaza Botero, Santo Domingo Metrocable; Cali: El Centro, Sucre; 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).