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Pickpockets in Alicante

When we go on holiday, we tend to let our guard down and we may be a little less careful than usual. Pickpockets in Alicante are aware of that and use it to their advantage. To avoid becoming their next victim, stay alert and take some steps to protect your belongings. Our little guide below explains what you need to consider.

Do I need to worry about pickpockets in Alicante?

Pickpocketing can be a problem in Alicante, the same as in many other tourist destinations. Pickpockets often “work” in crowded areas such as marketplaces, busy streets, on public transport or at bus stops and stations.

How do pickpockets in Alicante operate?

Blending in

Pickpockets usually try to blend in with the crowd and not stand out. They will often dress like tourists to avert attention.


Distraction is usually the key for a pickpocket’s success. Techniques can vary, such as bumping into someone, asking a question, asking for help or offering help.

Working in pairs

They often work in pairs or in a group. While one of them distracts the intended victim, the other tries to steal their belongings. While the individual’s attention is diverted, the thief quickly snatches their valuables such as wallets, phones or passports.

Use of tools

Pickpockets may also use tools such as small knives, or scissors. The thief can use these to cut open bags or pockets, to get to your belongings more easily.

How can I spot a pickpocket?

Spotting a pickpocket can be difficult as they are generally very good at looking inconspicuous. However, there are some behaviours you can look for that might indicate that someone is up to no good:

  • Standing too close to others
    Pickpockets need to get as close as possible to their target so they can steal their belongings without being seen.
  • Moving too quickly or too slowly
    They might move too quickly to escape unnoticed or too slowly to keep from drawing attention to themselves.
  • Constantly scanning the crowd
    In order to find their next victim, a pickpocket will pay close attention to other individuals’ movements.
  • Frequently changing direction
    A pickpocket may change direction frequently to follow a target or look for an opportunity to steal.
  • Fidgeting with clothing
    Pickpockets may adjust their clothing again and again to hide stolen items or in preparation to steal something.

It is, of course, important to remember that not everyone exhibiting such behaviours is a pickpocket. However, if someone appears suspicious to you, it is best to give them a wide berth and keep your belongings safe.

How can I protect myself from pickpockets in Alicante?

There are several measures you can take to protect yourself from pickpockets. Consider the following:

  • Keep valuables out of sight – Keep money, passports, credit cards and other valuable items in a money belt or hidden in a secure pocket. Avoid displaying any expensive gadgets you may be carrying with you.
  • Do not store all your valuables in one place– Try to carry your phone, money and other valuables in different pockets or bags.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash – Use debit or credit cards to make payments, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Use secure bags or purses – Carry items in secure bags with zippers, or in a bag worn in front of your body.
  • Set a password or PIN – Use a password or PIN to secure your phone, credit cards, and other important documents.
  • Be mindful when using ATMs – Avoid using ATMs in isolated areas, and make sure no one is watching you while you type your PIN.
  • Be aware of your surroundings – Stay alert in crowded areas, and be cautious with strangers who approach you.

By taking these precautions, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a target for pickpocketing and keep your belongings safe while travelling in Alicante.

What should I wear to avoid getting pickpocketed?

While there is no specific clothing that can prevent pickpocketing entirely, dressing appropriately can help reduce the risk. Here are some tips on what to wear to avoid being a target for pickpockets:

  • Wear clothes with pockets that zip or button up. This will make it difficult for thieves to access your belongings.
  • Wear clothes that are not too flashy or attention-grabbing. Wearing expensive-looking clothing can make you a target for thieves.
  • Leave expensive jewellery at home, as this could attract unwanted attention from pickpockets.
  • Use a cross-body bag or a money belt. These can be worn across the front of your body, keeping your belongings close and within sight.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. This can make it easier for you to move quickly, which can be useful if you need to avoid a pickpocket.

What should I do if I have been pickpocketed in Alicante?

Should you, despite all your precautions, be unlucky enough to become a victim of pickpocketing, here are the steps you should take:

  • Cancel your credit cards
    Contact your bank or credit card company immediately to report the theft and cancel your cards to prevent unauthorized charges.
  • Report the theft to the police
    Go to the nearest police station and report the incident as soon as possible to help the police recover your belongings and catch the thief. (See also emergency contact numbers below.)
  • Keep a record of the stolen items
    Make a list of all the items that have been stolen to help the police in their investigation.
  • If your passport was stolen, file a report with your embassy
    Contact your embassy or consulate to report the theft and obtain a replacement passport. (See also emergency contact numbers below.)
  • If your keys were stolen, change your locks
    You may need to have your locks changed as soon as possible to prevent further theft. If you are staying in a hotel, inform the front desk to ensure your safety.
  • Be alert to possible identity theft
    Thieves can use your personal information to steal your identity, so be cautious and monitor your credit and bank accounts closely.

It is important to act quickly if you have been pickpocketed to minimize any potential damage and recover your stolen items.

What should I consider before setting off to Alicante?

Here is a little checklist to help you prepare for your holiday:

LuggageDo not travel with expensive-looking suitcases or bags, as these are more appealing to potential thieves than a slightly tatty-looking bag.
Purse or walletTake two purses or wallets on holiday with you. One can be used for small amounts of money and kept easily accessible for your little purchases. The other is used to store your cards or larger amounts of cash. This will need to be carried in a safe place and only come out if you are making a bigger purchase.
Bank contact numbers Make a note of contact numbers to cancel your bank cards in the event they are stolen.
Travel documentsPhotocopy all your important travel documents and keep the copies in a separate place from the originals.
Jewellery Leave valuable jewellery or watches at home.
Mobile phoneDownload a “find my phone” app and ensure your phone is password protected.

Emergency Contact Numbers in Alicante

General (Police, Ambulance, Fire)112
National Police Helpline (non-emergency number to report a crime, English-speaking)+34 902 102 112
Policia Nacional+34 965 20 15 26
Guardia Civil+34 965 14 56 60
British Consulate+34 965 21 60 22
US Embassy (Madrid)+34 91 587 2200
Honorary Consul of Ireland+34 965 10 74 85
Honorarkonsulat der Bundesrepublik Deutschland+34 965 11 80 70

See here for more information on how to report a crime in Spain in your own language.

Further information

For information about Alicante, please also see our page “Alicante Guide“.

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