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Known Pickpockets

Known Pickpockets

Known Pickpockets


These two in the picture below are part of a much larger gang who prey on tourists in town, we are not quite sure if the one pretending to be pregnant is male or female, but it does look more like a man in disguise, he/she does have a very distinctive tattoo on the right leg.

They work in 2 different ways:- generally when you first arrive and are tired and looking to get into your hotel quickly.

They are normally seen loitering outside the drop off point for Hotel Flash, Sol Pelicanos Hotels etc

1)  They will either pretend to help you down the stairs whilst trying to rob you of your hand luggage, money or other valuables.

2)  They will watch you take your suitcase from the coach and whilst you are waiting for your friends/partner to get their bags they will attempt to open your hand luggage.

Make sure you have your wits about you when getting off the coach.  Keep your suitcase and hand luggage with you at all times, push you luggage not pull it behind you and do not accept help from them in any way.

If they do approach you make a scene as they do not like any attention drawn to them.


These are 4 Spanish pickpockets who “work” in the Rincon de Loix area. Keep your eyes open and your valuables safe and at all costs avoid them, If you see them heading your way, cross the road.

Also keep an eye out for these 2, seen here with an empty pushchair.

May 2017 – This man has been caught recently on camera, targeting people outside the Flash Hotel.  He is a pickpocket and targets people as they arrive picking up their suitcases when they are getting off the transfer buses.   Please be vigilant as to who and what is going on around you.

Punishing the pickpockets

Although these people are well-known to the police and courts, and some may have been arrested dozens of times. And on each occasion, within hours they are back out on the streets, free to steal again. How come? Because under Spanish law, non-violent theft of amounts under €400 are not covered by the criminal code.   Under Spanish law, if you steal something worth less than €400 it’s a falta (misdemeanour), not a delito (crime). If caught, they may be fined, around €50, but however many times they re-offend, it remains a misdemeanour and as an offence it is not cumulative.

Some courts have issued restraining orders on pickpockets, meaning that if they enter certain areas they face an immediate prison sentence, but this has raised a number of legal and ethical questions.  The law is not specific enough, meaning that it is open to the individual interpretation of judges.


We often hear horror stories of people who have been robbed, conned or violated in some manner while on Holiday in Benidorm.  There are even those who set out to promote these stories in the claim they are trying to help.  In reality they are frightening people and misleading them.  They are not helping anyone.  They are destroying the image of Europe’s most popular holiday resort.

What is it that creates an environment for pick pockets, con men and the like, to exploit us?  The answer is simple.  Large numbers of people with plenty of distraction. Holiday resort, Markets, shopping centres, concerts and the like.  The very things that describe Benidorm to a tee. That is, large numbers of people all year round and we all know the amount of distractions available in Benidorm.

But let’s look at the facts.

FACT     – Benidorm is Europe’s most popular holiday resort.

FALSE   – Benidorm has the highest rate of crime in any Holiday resort in Europe.

FACT     – It is not even listed in the top 10

In reality, the chances of losing your hard earned savings to a pickpocket in Benidorm is much lower than in many other Holiday resorts.

HOWEVER Here are a few tips to watch out for while in Benidorm, so we can decrease those numbers even lower.

  • Safety in Numbers. If you fortunate enough to be travelling with a group.  Stay with the group.  Pickpockets and muggers look for easy targets.  At football matches there are large groups of people with plenty of distraction.  But pickpockets are rare. Why?  Who in their right mind would walk into a crowd of testosterone fired men and attempt to mug one of them?  Keep with your friends, as much as possible.
  • Do not walk home alone, especially if you are a bit under the weather. People who are drunk cannot defend themselves very well.  They become the easy target.
  • Do not carry unnecessary (wear) valuables that can create temptation to the thieves. The higher the reward, the more risk they will take to get it.
  • Beware of friendly strangers. Props at bars will carry identification.  No identification, Walk on.
  • Beware of distraction by touch. A pickpocket will often try to distract you by touching you.  When you become aware of a touch on your shoulder, you do not feel a hand in your pocket.  Typical examples, someone pretends to brush dirt off the back of your shirt or to fix your collar.  Another one is to place their leg between your legs and jiggle their leg about like it is some sort of a joke.  You stand confused while they empty your pocket.
  • Ladies carry your handbag in a manner where it cannot be easily grabbed. Do not leave it sitting on the chair beside you in restaurants etc.  Unless of course you can run exceptionally fast in high heels to retrieve it.
  • PEA MEN These are con men and most of the crowd around them are part of the gang. Between Players, Watchers and Look outs, not to mention the pickpockets in the area.  There could be as many as 30 of them in the same team.  DO NOT STOP.  KEEP WALKING.  The best way to put these people out of business is to take away their customers.  However, trying to warn others could be very dangerous.  The person you are warning could well be part of the team.  PLEASE KEEP WALKING – More detailed information on the Pea/Potato men can be found HERE
  • Finally avoid dark quiet streets. Most of Benidorm´s dark quiet streets are perfectly safe.  What thief wants to sit in a street no-one walks up, in the hopes someone, who comes under the easy target category, might show up one night.  However some of these streets can be well known shortcuts to the beach etc during the day.  Strangers to the town may well use them at night as well.  If you know Benidorm, you will know which streets are safe.  If not, play safe and stay in the busy ones.

If you are unlucky enough to have been targeted please report the incident, details on how to do this can be found HERE.  If it is not reported then the council do not have the right statistics to ensure we have the necessary number of police to patrol the areas.

Emergency phone numbers 

More information about CRIME in Benidorm HERE





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Sylvia pinderLeanna BlevinsConnie HenryKaren MeeTracy Ann Recent comment authors

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Carol Andrew
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Carol Andrew

One trick if your bag has a zip – when you close it put a large safety pin through to make it difficult to open

Michelle Ayres
VIP Member
Michelle Ayres

I think small purse in your bra sounds like the best idea if you’re female. I always wear a cross body bag which is zipped with my hand on it but it only takes a second as people have been saying. I am going alone in January and have been a Benidorm regular for many years but it does make you wary

Tracy Ann

My top tip is never carry a purse or wallet, they are all to easy just to grab, keep your money in a zipped up compartment of your handbag, and keep an eye on your bag at all times, don´t hang it over the back of a chair or even put it on the floor, keep it on your lap and certainly don´t leave it unattended on a table at any time which we see in venues every single night and men don´t put your wallets in your back pockets. The amount of mobile phones that are either lost or… Read more »

Karen Mee
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Karen Mee

That’s why I have a travelon bag they have lobster claw clasps that u can attach to the zip pulls are slash proof too

Connie Henry
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Connie Henry

My daughter had her purse stolen last week x

Tracy Ann

This did not happen in Benidorm but in Torrevieja, but of course could have happened anywhere. I was out shopping with my friend in the Habaneras (the main shopping centre) during the January sales and we were shopping in Zara. Going round the store picking up bargains etc with loads of things hanging over my arms, after trying on a few items I made my way to the cash desk to pay, only to find my zipped up handbag open and my purse gone. This is how easy it is, how can someone open up a zipped up handbag without… Read more »

Sylvia pinder
Sylvia pinder

Me & my hubby went to the big market last Sunday & me being in a Power wheelchair . when I was coming back all of a Sudden I Felt a pain in my right arm so I stopped & put my left arm across I was in some. Right pain which brought tears to my eyes & didn’t no what was happening I had my hand bag round my neck so all I can think off was he tried to steal my bag & missed which resulted in me being thumped that was the pain I felt & I… Read more »

Tracy Ann

So sorry to hear you had this bad experience Sylvia, hope you are ok and thank you for posting to warn others. x