Tourist Stories

My phone stolen at plaza de armas, Santiago.

Chile Travel

Chile Travel

Today Crystal wants to share her story about her phone being stolen by some idiots at plaza de armas, Santiago central.

she write:

Hello, last night 18’th May, around 9:45pm just a street off the Plaza de Arms, full of police’s or guards like 100 metres away from me. We saw very very popular street full of street vendors went to visit, I felt someone took the phone off my left hand when I was holding it quite tight, my hand was naturally resting on the side of my body while checking one vendors , then I felt someone touching my left hand, I suddenly realised someone trying to grab it from behind so I hold even tighter, but the phone dropped on the floor 3 metres away , I try to catch it but that phone thief picked up first , then I try to chase up but I felt things in my leg and falled on the ground , and next thing I heard is my husband behind me try to chase but falled on the ground too , we quickly stand up to run after but that person already 100 metres apart , we run for a few blocks until can’t see him anyway , then we just have to give up . We also realised someone tripped us before to help that thief. Pretty sad consider this is my first time lost phone. I must felt too save in Santiago in the last two weeks as I saw many locals just playing their phone on the street , so I start losing my guard. 

Luck I registered my IMEI number with the Entel , do at least they can block my phone. I just lost all my Easter island photos, and my husband injured his both knee from falling the concrete ground ! I really hope his OK today

Plaza de armas cathedral.

So plaza de armas is one of the most history rich and iconic places you have to visit if you are in Santiago, but actually i don’t recommend spending too much time there because there are literally hundreds of thief’s just looking out for unguarded people to be distracted and once you know it your getting your phone snatched or necklace ripped off your neck.

The reality is: plaza de armas is one of the most insecure parks or plaza there are. It’s so insecure that is in unbelievable. Plaza de armas is located next to patrimonial architecture, old churches, court houses, power of attorney, etc… but there still isn’t any security for the people or tourist. There aren’t enough cops that can patrol plaza de armas all day, and when they aren’t there, the thiefs come out with different techniques of robbing.

Your blog has very good information. I’m going to travel to north part of Chile soon, will rent a car in some part so we will study your blog.
If you can , please write an article to warn other travellers what to do to prevent and what to do after phone robbed. I have two phones when travel, so my old phone is activated now . Most stuff in Google and Evernote, so I can chase back , but I didn’t back up my phone for two months, my most valuable stuff are photos from Easter island damn!

We will continue to make our blog better.

So the secret to enjoy your time in plaza de armas is to not become a thiefs target, and by that I mean you should not do any of the following

  • Don’t bring out your fancy canon camera. Your 8mb iPhone 5 camera will be enough to take great photos at a good resolution. Fancy apparatus that can be sold quick are a lure for thiefs because it has a fast and high resell value.
  • Jewlery. You don’t need it. Don’t show your Rolex or your 24 karat golden necklace, everyone in Chile wear fake ones because they know thiefs are looking out for these.
  • Keep your phone safe. Don’t show it off,   Store it in your jackets inner pockets and take it out only when you need it. It’s true that you can block your phone to make it inaccesible making your phone useless to them, but what thiefs  do in this case to get some cash out of them is that they are selling the parts of your phone like lcd display, chips, cases, components

What to do in case of getting my phone robbed? Well it’s a good idea to keep the IMEI NUMBER stored in your wallet or somewhere , because you will need to block your phone with the carrier . So call the carrier and tell them you got your phone stolen and need to block it so you can get a new chip with the same number in a few days, you will also have you go to a cop so they can give you a certificate of robbery, which then you can use to prove that you’ve got robbed. If you get injured in a robbery like our friends significant other who fell on his knees and got injured, you will need to go with cops ( they will accompany you to the hospital) to report any injuries.

About loosing your memories i suggest you store in real-time your photos every night to google drive, Dropbox, Facebook, etc. Forget about only storing your memories on your physical disk, upload them to the cloud is the best idea.

I am writing a book on how to detect thiefs in Santiago, so it will be up soon. I hope you like this post.

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