Robbed in Barcelona
My mother and I arrived in Barcelona on December 31 and we met 2014 in the city center in the friendly atmosphere. On January 1 we were relaxed and slowly walked around.
The guy who was jogging stopped us and explained by signs that my mom's coat had been dirty. We also noticed spots of something similar to choco dough of her hair. The guy showed us that we could come to the nearest porch and he would give us water and napkins to clean. And we came in… he went upstairs and in a minute brought us the bottle of water and the napkins. There was a towel on his hand and it fit his sportsman look. We started to clean and he insisted on my mom to take off the coat to clean it better. Then he walked away. When we were done and my mom put on the coat we realized that her bag was missing. Late but we understood that to take the coat off she also needed to take off her bag and this guy put the bag under his towel and ran away.
It was an Italian bag that I bought for my mom in San Marino and inside the bag, we had photo and video cameras, purse, phone, flash cards and … our passports. As I had my purse and phone with me we were not in trouble and really needed only our passports back.
We returned to the hotel and the receptionist explained that we needed to go to the police station and gave us the phone number of Russian consulate. At the police office when I started our story the policeman stopped me and said that the scenario had been well known. They told us that there were no chances to find our passports quickly and gave us the paper that we could provide to the consulate. The consulate also needed the headshots that we made at photo cabin and national passports. My mom’s national passport was in Russia and we asked to send us the scan and printed it.
We went to the consulate on January 2. They worked this day disregard the official Russian holidays because of issues like ours. We were not the first in the list of the reentry certificates given to Russians to cross the Spain border in 2014. The consul told us that these certificates are not valid in case of transit flights but we had the direct flight so it was not an issue.
This incident did not ruin our trip and we enjoyed Barcelona. Indirect consequences were that I lost my USA visa with the passport and could not get the new one without the interview and that data on my mother’s flash cards were not copied everywhere else.