Highway robberies in Spain
July 11, 2014
British and other foreign citizens are being targeted by organized gangs on tourist routes, specially in Andalucia, Catalunya, Madrid and Valencia.
These gangs target foreign vehicles and flag them down to make them stop, sometimes impersonating Police Officers and others just simulating that there is a problem with the vehicle. Once they have stopped one of the robbers distract the victims whilst other or others unseen accomplices steal money, passports and all kind of valuables they can get their hands to.
The Daily Mail reports:
"Beware Spain's highway robbers: Foreign Office warns holiday makers to be on alert after surge in attacks on UK cars".
The Foreign Office warns:
"When driving, be wary of approaches by bogus police officers in plain clothes travelling in unmarked cars. In all traffic-related matters, police officers will be in uniform, and all police officers, including those in plain clothes, carry official ID. Unmarked police vehicles have a flashing electronic sign on the rear window which reads Policía (Police) or Guardia Civil (Civil Guard), and normally have blue flashing lights. Genuine police officers will only ask you to show them your documents and will not ask for your bag or wallet/purse."
"If in any doubt, you should talk through the car window and contact the Civil Guard on 062 or Police on 112 and ask them to confirm that the registration number of the vehicle corresponds to an official police vehicle."
"Be aware of ‘highway pirates’ who target foreign-registered and hire cars, especially those towing caravans. Some will (forcefully) try to make you stop, claiming there is something wrong with your car or that you have damaged theirs. If you decide to stop to check the condition of your/their vehicle, stop in a public area with lights like a service station, and be extremely wary of anyone offering help."
Author: Paul Quigley