Police say that the public should be on their guard in the Las Chafiras and Golf del Sur areas for two muggers who appear to be Moroccans operating out of a black Fiat Punto. Their method seems to be that one keeps the car engine running while the other grabs bags from unsuspecting shoppers, and the pair then make a quick getaway. They are said to have made over a dozen such thefts in the general area over recent weeks, but their latest attempt around lunchtime yesterday was thwarted by a Spanish woman in the IKEA carpark. She held onto her handbag and confronted her assailant, who turned tail and ran to the car, which then sped off. Police are still searching for the pair and advise the public to be on guard in the area.


This article has 4 Comments

  1. Being recently retired I come to Tenerife 3-4 times a year, the last time (January) an Eastern European couple (going by looks and accents) tried to steal my sister’s bag in the big Chinatown shop. We caught them in the act and we created a loud fuss alerting staff who immediately came in big numbers and tried to detain the pair, who by this time were shouting abuse and threats at us saying we were lying, mad English. The Chinese staff trying to hold them (as police had been called), were then battered and the pair made off. Since Police were called we waited more than half an hour to give statements etc but they never appeared nor called us (we left our numbers with the shop manager). Sadly the store staff told us they have stock stolen by the same types of people everyday and the police are either too busy or too uninterested to ever attend. However as these thugs go unchecked and know Police won’t attend it appears they are now happy to target tourists whilst shopping- the manager reports this is a huge concern for them as they’ve had to deal with injuries to staff and public as well as the obvious trauma and upset all round. We were very distressed by this incident and for days left feeling afraid and vulnerable in every setting we were in. Truly we spend a lot of money between hotels, bars, restaurants and general entertainment and always feel the locals treat us well and are happy that we come, well that’s finished now, until I hear Tenerife in general and the south in particular have gotten rid of this fear of such scumbags and thuggery I won’t be back. In effect we’re all losers (tourists, locals, businesses etc) all bar the thieving filth, who need to be made an example of.

    I apologise if this is the wrong place to air this concern but perhaps it could be brought to the attention of those in ‘high’ places who make decisions on Tenerife’s well-being. Thank you.

  2. Gangs of eastern Europeans are known to come for the winter season when the holidaymakers are generally older and somewhat more infirm. The police do a fantastic job overall, both the National Police and the Guardia Civil. The problem is that when they get to Court, theft-type offences don’t require those charged to be remanded in custody awaiting trial, and often the crimes are under the level for court action (defined as a minor rather than a major crime … the financial line is drawn at €400). Either way, the criminals are free to go pending whatever legal action has been determined, and subsequently disappear.

    The police cannot act arbitrarily, independent of the legal and judicial system, nor can they summarily dole out “justice” on the spot. They, and Spain, would soon get a far worse reputation if they did that! It is the same throughout Europe. The reason Tenerife has a particular problem is the numbers of holidaymakers here, but it is not a problem with the police. Periodically too they have a major success and break up a gang, and the gangmasters are dealt with and deported … but they return. It is an ongoing problem, and people need to be careful and very aware when they’re out and about.

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