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Tom
Junior Member
Username: Tomatalki

Post Number: 27
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, April 18, 2008 - 6:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Today we went into a crowded subt car. A guy with a "hurt leg" started to go down and grabbed my wife on the way down while someone else grabbed for her purse. Neither succeeded. I tried to stop the fall of the guy and felt someone reaching into my pocket and pulled away. Neither Nancy or I really knew what had been happening at that point but Nancy went away from the crowd and hugged her purse. Meanwhile the "hurt leg" was limping off the train and one of his accomplices was grabbing at my hands (which were in my pockets) telling me to help the "hurt leg". As my hand came out of my pocket another hand was going in and I was pinned by several people. Again I pulled away and the whole gang got off the train. We figure there were 4 or 5 of them.

We were lucky and lost nothing.

Beware of a guy with a "hurt, bandaged leg" falling near you. There were many loose hands around.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1638
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 12:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you for sharing this bad experience with us, Tom.

Yes, they work in gangs. The common thread seems to be a push/pull scheme where one person diverts attention while another one attempts stealing. Also common in pedestrian busy streets such as Florida in downtown. My mother's boyfriend was a victim of this a few months ago. Foreigners are not particularly the target, just anyone they may think is ripe for it. Glad to know nothing bad happened.
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Arial
Intermediate Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 195
Registered: 10-2006


Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 5:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Any time there is a commotion it is a red flag to be alarmed, watch your possessions and get away from whatever is going on. Someone dropping or spilling water, getting ice cream on you (someone I know lost his backpack in the Buenos Aires bus station that way--that was the diversion) or absolutely anything out of the ordinary. As already stated elsewhere on this forum, a member of our group briefly lost a backpack on a bus in Peru to a pair of men working together. One spilled water in the aisle, the other took the backpack, unnoticed, from right over our heads! Our guy was savvy and looked immediately to our possessions. The backpack was still on the bus. Incidentally, based on incidents I have heard about, the Buenos Aires bus station is a place to be especially alert.

Tom's inclination was to help the lame man. Most of us probably would be inclined to help. It is sad but we need to brainwash ourselves to react defensively. For a large town, Buenos Aires is amazingly safe. But there are thieves out there. Arial
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Gloria Melgar Estevez
Member
Username: Glorita

Post Number: 83
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 8:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tom, I'm sorry to hear of your ordeal. I'm glad you and your wife came out unscathed. In 2003 while traveling on a packed bus, a young teenage man first groped me and as the bus came to a stop he grabed on to my purse handle and tried to take off with it. I started yelling(like a mad woman)..."ladron, ladron!".....a little old granma sitting close by came to my rescue with her cane...she let him have it!...when the bus door opened, a few of the passengers and me pushed the guy out. It was a great victory!!...However, many people told me later that it was a dangerous thing to do because you never know if someone like that is carrying a fire arm.
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Arial
Intermediate Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 196
Registered: 10-2006


Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 8:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gloria, was this in Argentina? I ask because I know you are in Miami. I grew up in Miami and it has been like that there since many years ago, though not when I was a child! One friend of mine climbed on the back of an attacker who was trying to get a purse away from her mother. And of course neither knew if he had a weapon but they were not giving up that purse!

If in Argentina, was it in Buenos Aires? Or Rosario where your mother lives? Arial
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Bill Howard
Junior Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 47
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 10:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

A couple of years ago I was crossing 9 del Julio in one direction and in the other direction was coming this frail old lady with a purse over her shoulder. Well from behind us ran a group of young boys 10-12 years old. Anyway as they start to pass the old lady they grab her purse and start pulling. Well this old lady would not give up the purse and started slapping the boys full force across the face and yelling at them in Spanish. We yelled but by the time we got there the boys had fled without the purse. The woman looked at us, shrugged, smiled and kept crossing the street. This all happened in an instant. As you know the last place on the face of the earth you ever want to be is in the middle of 9 del Julio when the lights changes to green.
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Gloria Melgar Estevez
Member
Username: Glorita

Post Number: 84
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 2:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Arial, this happened to me in Rosario.

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