How it works:
- Bike/moped: riding past with a pillion rider doing the snatch.
- Street, mall, shop, park, transportation hub: distracting and snatching from you, then escaping via a getaway car or down a street corner.
- Hotel (e.g. El Centro, La Ciudad Vieja, El Cordón, El Parque Rodo, Pocitos, Punta Carretas), airport: where distracted/tired tourists carry all their valuables out.
- Beach (e.g. Punta del Este, Maldonado): stealing unattended bags/valuables from tourists who are relaxed or in the water.
- Street: someone enquires with you about the time and snatches your phone if you take it out.
- Car: smash and grab at traffic lights or intersections around La Rambla. Parked cars in Carrasco have been targeted too.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (hotspots – e.g. Montevideo: Plaza Independecia, Avenida 18 de Julio, La Ciudad Vieja)
- 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).