I returned last week from a 3 week back packing trip in Spain. I had just arrived on AVE from Sevilla and set my back pack on opposite chair while having a bite to eat and peruse my Barcelona map. When I looked up a few minutes later my back pack was gone. Fortunately I travel with passport and credit cards on my person. I did report the theft o the small police station within the station. I was also able to replace my blood pressure meds at the farmacia. Other than that incident i thouroughly enjoyed my trip. Stay alert. Be aware
So sorry this happened but it sounds like you have a good attitude about it and very glad they did take anything important.
If I have a backpack I set it on the floor between my feet or clip a strap around a chair part - if someone tries to grab it they will have to take the whole chair!
Thanks for the report. I always put my bag on my lap, no matter what size. My husband thinks I am paranoid when we travel but he doesn't read these threads.
The smart thing to have done is to clip one of the back pack straps through the back of the chair. We do that when ever we set down a bag. Hang it over the back of the chair and clip one of the straps to the chair or a leg of the chair or clip two straps. We have never lost a bag.
Your unfortunate experience can serve as a warning to all: never set a bag or item down out of your control/contact. It's a normal tendency to sling a bag or purse or camera over a chair back, or to set it down next to you. But all it takes is a minor distraction (self-induced or created by a thief) for someone to easily steal it from you.
Thank you for sharing and I'm sorry this happened to you! I just got back from Spain a few weeks ago and there were definitely times where I thought I was being overly cautious. I have no regrets though because we didn't lose anything on our trip. It was especially scary in Barcelona where you saw the pickpockets in action (the guys with jackets draped over their forearms, even when it's way to hot to bring a jacket out of the house).
I didn't use super secure methods, more like things that would cause a thief an extra step or two (like untangling a strap around a seat). My hope was that it would be enough to deter the thief to target something else.
Whenever I take off my bag and sit down, I put it between my legs, touching me.
I've noticed people following me and looking for ways to get things from /off my person.
I was taking pictures and they would scatter or turn quickly when I pointed the camera at them. They do not want a picture taken of them. I used my camera as a safety device.
We were at one of the tapas restaurants the Rick recommends (Cerveceria Vendimia on the Carrer de la Mercè near the Barri Gòtic - which was super BTW) when my husband let his pack slide to the floor without hooking it to his chair like he always does. I came back from the bãno to take my seat next to him at the bar and a guy next to me was standing just a little too close. We continued to eat our tapas and a bit later we heard a ruckus behind us to that side. My first thought was, "This is one of those distractions that happen just before a pickpocket!" A group of construction workers who had stopped in for a beer after work accosted the man beside me because they had seen him sliding my husband's pack toward his barstool on the floor. When confronted, he kicked the pack back under my husbands bar stool. They all had words with this guy who was protesting wildly and denying the whole thing. Then the owner threw him out! The construction workers saw the whole thing and made sure that kind of thing wasn't going to happen on their watch. Fortunately, the only thing in the pack was the Rick Steves Guide to Barcelona and various comfort items - no money or credit cards. So be careful!