Beware of Pickpocket in Lisbon, Portugal
We were just beginning the journey in Lisbon when we had to pause it due to an incident of pickpocket in Lisbon. Slight laxity on our side and we were targeted by the pickpockets. We did the walking tour of Alfama on foot avoiding all trams, hoho bus and autos. Through out the walk the four of us maintained close distance within ourselves, no local got close to us, I remember this very clearly. I am quite sure this incident didn’t happen at Alfma region.
Alfama to Baxia Stroll
After the Alfama stroll we decided to do the walking tour of Baxia. We walked down the main road connecting Alfama to Baxia which was not crowded at all. On the way we spotted Se, the cathedral of Lisbon. From the crowd there we could make out a marriage was on. I got a little excited and tempted at the thought of possible photography. And for a while we ignored the fact it was crowded or may be I thought it is the crowd from groom’s and bride’s family so the crowd should be okay.
We made our way in; the gorgeous golden interiors stumped us. The groom and bride were way ahead near the religious part of the cathedral; no way could I catch a glimpse of them. Like other tourists we paused at the sides took some pics and exited the place. Out, under the blue sky it was a relief! I took the pic of TAP Portugal, the flag carrier airline of Portugal standing here for skywatch.
The Discovery of Loss
We would have hardly walked 200 to 300m when my husband suddenly realized his wallet was missing and he uttered it with disbelief a bit too loudly. The shopkeeper came out hearing him, he felt so sorry for us seeing the four of us huddled together in shock and silence. It took some time to sink in the fact of pickpocket in Lisbon and to think: WHAT NEXT? I asked for the direction to police station, which the shopkeeper very patiently explained.
Before leaving for police station I decided we should go to the cathedral and check the place where we stood. What if the pickpocketer had discarded the wallet after taking the money? But it was all in vain. We found nothing. I explained the situation to one of the gentlemen there and he too advised to register a complaint at the police station.
For the rest of the walk to Police station which was at Lisbon Square we assessed our loss; other than some Euros he lost all the credit cards. Thankfully his international driving license and all our passports were with me!
Portugal Police Station
At the police station I couldn’t believe I was waiting to lodge a formal complaint because there were two other couples registering their complaints and while we were doing the formalities one more tourist couple walked in. They were slightly old and the man was almost in tears, he had lost all his insurance papers too he was saying. I felt so sorry for them I had no words to offer.
The policemen were courteous and an English speaking policeman spoke to us. He kept asking the exact location where it could have happened. I mentioned about our visit to the crowded church, but we were not sure. In the end he asked how many days we planned to spend in Lisbon, when we said 2 more days, he said please be careful. We have put boards in several places “Beware of Pickpockets” yet such incidents keep happening.
Lisbon is a beautiful city and tourists often get immersed in amazement at the sights!