Pick Pockets in Benidorm

Known Pickpockets in Benidorm

Just like any major holiday resort, there is always the issue of crime.  For those planning a visit this may help you identify some of the known pickpockets in Benidorm


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.

Pickpockets in Benidorm

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.

Pickpockets in Benidorm


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.

Pickpockets in Benidorm

Pickpockets in Benidorm

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

Pickpockets in Benidorm

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.

Pickpockets in Benidorm

Pickpockets in Benidorm

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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0 # Lucky 2021-01-17 22:39
I clip purse either inside bra or hang bag hangbag
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0 # Anita Short 2021-01-17 11:17
I carry a small backpack on my front and only take out what we need for the day, and split it with my hubby
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0 # Tracy Ann 2021-01-17 11:55
Very sensible x
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0 # Anita Short 2021-01-17 11:08
I had a bad experience with the peamen or should I say a femake accomplish in 2018. She robbed me of €35 euros. I was mad thT that I stood there and kept stopping drunk old men being flished of €50 a go. They dispersed. I flagged a cop and told him and he gave me a number to phone when I next saw them. I saw one and went up to him demanding my money, denied he was with the peace, said he worked at the Nokia hotel. I followed him hiding in doorways and then he met up with his boss. I went straight over and caused a scene, shouting out in Spanish and English. There were a lot of people who came to see what was going on, I took my phone out to call the police, telling them this and they said !no! No! Not the police, how much we owe you, so I said €35, should have said £100 but didn't. I told the boss man give me back my money and its finished.They agreed very quickly, gave me my money and I left. It was all I had left too.
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0 # Anita Short 2021-01-17 23:49
Its me replying to my own post, sorry about about the errors but my predicated text is a pain. First correction, Female, that, fleeced, peamen,peamen, Melissa.
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0 # Tracy Ann 2021-01-17 11:54
The Pea/Potato group are a whole different ball game, sorry you had a bad experience with them . More specific information about how they work can be found here https://www.benidormseriously.com/pea-men
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0 # Sylvia pinder 2019-04-28 17:59
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 have a nice bruises to show for it so please be careful when going to big market as they will Target anyone . all I no is that it was a bloke in a black bubble jacket & he disappeared into the crowd .
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0 # Tracy Ann 2019-04-28 18:39
So sorry to hear you had this bad experience Sylvia, hope you are ok and thank you for posting to warn others. x
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0 # Tracy Ann 2018-11-28 12:19
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 you even noticing, well they can, they are experts at it. What I learnt from the experience, be more aware of what is going on around you, and I now never carry a purse, it is too easy to lift, money and cards are now kept in separate compartments of my handbag and zipped up, it is not so easy for someone to lift notes and coins etc as it is to lift a purse or wallet. The incident was reported to the police but unfortunately no one was caught for the crime as I had no descriptions etc, but on my last visit to the store I did notice that during sale times they do have security people walking around. This incident happened due to my own stupidity and I blame no one but myself, give a thief an opportunity and they will take it. Do not become another statistic, be aware of what is going on around you at all times.
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0 # Connie Henry 2018-09-08 20:59
My daughter had her purse stolen last week x
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0 # Karen Mee 2018-09-08 20:20
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
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0 # Tracy Ann 2018-09-08 20:15
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 stolen is staggering and most people say they need their mobiles to take photos..... why take a 800€ phone out just to take a few photos, buy a cheap camera, that way you are only losing your photos and not your expensive phone and all your contacts not to mention the aggravation of cancelling contracts etc
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0 # Michelle Ayres 2018-09-08 20:05
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
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0 # admin 2018-09-08 19:17
DO NOT do what we witnessed earlier today - A couple had obviously just been to one of the exchange bureau´s, and stood in the middle of the pavement waving around and counting out about 600€ in clear view of anyone watching, the money was then handed over to the wife who tucked it into her back pocket, easy pickings for any pickpocket watching. Be vigilant, don´t become an easy target and another statistic.
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0 # Leanna Blevins 2018-09-08 21:02
Very silly thing to do. None of us would do that at home, so why do it when on holiday! x
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0 # Carol Andrew 2018-09-08 19:05
One trick if your bag has a zip - when you close it put a large safety pin through to make it difficult to open
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0 # admin 2018-09-08 19:20
Excellent advice and so simple.
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