Most things beautiful carry a dark side, and that holds most true for these cities listed below. Each of them may be a feast for the senses, but in that lulled sense of happiness and exotic wonder, tourists often find themselves without their passports, or suddenly missing a camera. Whether it’s the ancient and colourful spectacle of Barcelona or the heady mix of architecture in Prague, you should always keep your stuff safe. Check out the places around the world with the highest cases of mugging.
1. Caracas, Venezuala
The political instability around this area has resulted in Caracas getting a pretty bad rep, especially in terms of gang violence and petty thefts. People are advised to keep their belongings safe. The place is so notorious, it even got a kickass game called Just Cause based on it.
2. Lagos, Nigeria
Non-existent streetlights during the night and the presence of hoodslum boys a.k.a area specific pickpockets makes Lagos another spot to be careful around. Suffice to say, keep your cameras at home and leave that money bag under the bed. Also, taking photos here is considered rude and might get you into some trouble.
3. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Incidents of mugging, sometimes benign but sometimes violent, are highly prevalent here. The locals might be easygoing but even they are aware of the risks. Tourists should be especially careful, though the government has recently clamped down on the more violent of the no-gooders.
4. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
This one comes as no surprise, and half the beauty of the place lies in the reputation of lawlessness that Rio has accumulated. The ‘favelas’ or slums that line the streets all the way to the beach are home to countless criminals, petty and high level. The cops are brutal and getting your pocket picked can happen faster than you can say ‘Janeiro’!
5. Cape Town, South Africa
There are certain areas in this beautiful city that are on public service announcements as danger zones. The economic and social issues here have been brimming for such a long while that violent theft, including mugging and stabbings are common, especially at night, as there are always terrors lurking in the dark.
6. Guatemala City, Guatemala
While the crime statistics in the city itself have been falling recently, petty crimes are just as prevalent as ever. Check out the rest of Guatemala if possible and stay in your wits while in the city. By wits I’m talking no more than two shots of tequila before getting in that cab.
7. Johannesburg, South Africa
This had to be on the list, thanks to relatives who have lived here and actually experienced the dangers first hand. As long as you stay in the safe areas, you’re alright. But make sure your GPS is working perfectly, come back before dark and lock your doors. Leave a car on the road for the night and come morning all you’ll have is a shell on rims.
8. Barcelona, Spain
Known as the pickpocket capital of the world, I’ve often harboured notions about the presence of some cult here that passes on the tricks of the trade to little kids, who proceed to steal tourists Iphones(Good for them!) and passports(not so good). Be wary of Las Ramblas street and always hang on to your ‘preciousss’ (your money).
9. Rome, Italy
Muggings are guaranteed in public transport so battle that using taxis, which are apparently not that expensive. The added trouble of having faux gypsies dance around you, drowning you in charm while their cronies steal your stuff is another reason to be careful here.
10. Prague, Czech Republic
Stay careful around the subway stations, as well as Old Town Square and Prague Castle. The place is otherwise safe but you don’t want a pesky picker to rob you of an otherwise immersive and beautiful experience.
11. Madrid, Spain
Mugging around the Puerto De Sol area has always been a problem, and with the arrival of new techniques of robbing, the situation here has gotten to be quite an annoyance. The pickpockets come to you pretending to be cops or officials asking for passports, then proceed to rob your belongings. So uncool.
12. Paris, France
The original abode of romance has an ugly side, in that pickpockets use their area obtained panache to woo people into a calm and comfortable state before taking off with their stuff. Especially at bars and the like, keep a close watch on your phones and always hide your passport.
13. Florence, Italy
Another spot where people fall victim to the cruel charms of the gypsy thieves. A hidden danger is the well dressed pickpockets that work the buses and other public transport, seeking out hapless victims to rob.
14. Buenos Aires, Argentina
The ‘gringo’ or white man is especially vulnerable in the Argentinian capital, as they are targeted with ill conceived contempt by pickpockets and muggers. The muggers usually come, spill a liquid like ink onto the victims, and then rob them as they try to wipe away the stains and the confusion.
15. Chambal, India
With ravines and caves for the dangers to lurk in and the notorious reputation that Chambal has acquired, it’s no surprise that the recent statements about the area’s safety fails to deter people from visiting. Some of the most famous dacoits in India were bred and lived here, so the there’s always a sense of danger.