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Chris71

Original Poster:

20,751 posts

130 months

[news] 
Thursday 17th March 2011 quote quote all
Googled a couple of things on driving in Spain to make sure I had the requisite number of warning triangles or whatever and I seemed to come across repeated references to car jacking. Apparently there's a trend for criminals posing as the police to pull over foreign registered cars and then rob the occupants.

Is there actually any truth in this? The way some of the guides read you'd think sleepy rural Spain was twinned with Basra. I'm guessing this isn't the case. smile

Diag

56 posts

56 months

[news] 
Friday 18th March 2011 quote quote all
I have read the same but never heard of a single real world example. I wouldn’t like to say its never happened but I think the problem mostly exists on the internet.

rdjohn

1,299 posts

83 months

[news] 
Friday 18th March 2011 quote quote all


When I was driving down here in January, just north of Madrid in UK reg. car, a black BMW with 4 guys inside pulled alongside, sounded horn, held up (apparent) warrant card and indicated that I should pull into the adjacent service road.

They made the mistake of pulling in front of me and slowing with their hazard warning lights on which gave me thinking time.

• Cops don’t do that, they stay behind you.
• For once, I was certain that I was not speeding as I was not sure of my next turning
• Why would 4 plain clothes cops want to stop me?
• Why are they not in a Seat etc?

As we approached the green splitter, I pulled back on to main highway and drew alongside them so that they had to exit, thinking "if they are cops all hell is about to break loose". It did not and when I shook my head they pulled off into a derelict industrial area. I felt an amazing sense of relief.

My final thought was that they looked more like scruffy Iraqis (Sadam Hussein moustaches etc) than Spanish cops, who tend to look smart.

I am returning to France and Sunday and will be very wary – this is not an urban myth.

Chris71

Original Poster:

20,751 posts

130 months

[news] 
Friday 18th March 2011 quote quote all
rdjohn said:
"if they are cops all hell is about to break loose"
That was kind of my thought. If you assume they're not really the policia and boot it you could get into a lot of trouble if the assumption turns out to be wrong! biggrin

So, without wishing to seem paranoid - what would be the giveaways? Is it safe to assume genuine police will always have uniforms and marked cars?

ETA What the foreign office says:

FCO said:
When driving, be wary of approaches by bogus police officers in plain clothes travelling in unmarked cars. In all traffic-related matters, police officers will be in uniform. Unmarked police vehicles have a flashing electronic sign on the rear window which reads Policía (Police) or Guardia Civil (Civil Guard), and normally have blue flashing lights which they will activate when they stop you. In non-related traffic matters, police officers may be in plain clothes but you have the right to ask them to identify themselves. The Civil Guard or Police will only ask you to show them your documents and will not ask for your bag or wallet/purse. Should the police ask for ID, show your passport, driving licence or any other photographic ID.

If in any doubt, you should talk through the car window and contact the Civil Guard on 062 or Police on 112 and ask them to confirm that the registration number of the vehicle corresponds to an official police vehicle.

Be aware of 'highway pirates' who target foreign-registered and hire cars, especially those towing caravans. Some will (forcefully) try to make you stop, claiming there is something wrong with your car or that you have damaged theirs. If you decide to stop to check the condition of your/their vehicle, stop in an area with lights/people, e.g. a service station, and be extremely wary of anyone offering help.
Edited by Chris71 on Friday 18th March 16:50

cabbron

379 posts

105 months

[news] 
Friday 18th March 2011 quote quote all
defo not a myth-pal is one of those spain-uk-spain transport drivers,told me a year or so ago that he has seen this practice.also there is the practice of throwing a rock at the back of your car,bang and then the pointing "helpful" motorist,pull over ................be careful out there!!!

Edited by cabbron on Friday 18th March 18:55

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mickrick

3,045 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 18th March 2011 quote quote all
A friend of mine had the bang at the back of his car, and another car pulling alonside with the occupants pointing to his caravan.
He stopped, and while he was being distracted another Guy crept up to the passenger side and opened the door where his wife was sitting, and tried to drag her out.
What they didn't expect, was my friends fiesty wife! laugh
As soon as my mate realised what was going on, he jumped out to give the fellows a good hyding (He's built like Shreck!)
They legged it once they saw the size of him. But he told me it shook him up.

Be carefull out there, Spain aint sleepy any more!
Also be carefull in Barcelona. Do not leave anything of value in your car. Even in the middle of the day in a busy street, you'll get your window smashed.
A lot of folks are desperate right now, and they have not a lot to loose by getting caught. Only free lodgings and a free feed courtesy of us tax payers!

Kneetrembler

1,693 posts

90 months

[news] 
Friday 18th March 2011 quote quote all
As has been said beware, I was driving a German reg Motorhome a couple of years ago and they did a similar thing to me,I didn't even slow down just carried on and ignored them.

Never did see them again,only stop as has been said,or have the Guardia tel number pre prog into your mob, then just press the button and keep on driving.

Chordiant

93 posts

48 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th March 2011 quote quote all
Doesn't sound good, does it?

OK - I retract the 'Urban Myths' tag on this.

cabbron

379 posts

105 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th March 2011 quote quote all
remember spain is thirld world!

Chordiant

93 posts

48 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th March 2011 quote quote all
cabbron said:
remember spain is third world!
...... and as for their IT technology - Banks are still using GREEN SCREENS - arrrrrrgghhhh.!

rdjohn

1,299 posts

83 months

[news] 
Wednesday 23rd March 2011 quote quote all
On the way to France on Sunday we drove through the Basque region. They seem to have a special group called Police Foral (provincial) there. They drive big red pickups.

My God do they look serious! At a checkpoint they had one guy looking into the cars at a chicane and another, 20m behind him, with a big calibre pump action shot gun to blow out the windsceen of any car that does not stop.

My advice STOP IF REQUESTED!

Chris71

Original Poster:

20,751 posts

130 months

[news] 
Friday 25th March 2011 quote quote all
Yeah, if they have guns I think I plan to stop irrespective of whether they have Police written on them or 'Albanian Mafia client liaison'.

spagti

2 posts

43 months

[news] 
Wednesday 25th May 2011 quote quote all
had seen this "guys" aka 'peruanos' 'colombianos' working so many times, they use to drive bmw/audi to runaway safety...

they are driving constantly on motorway up and down looking for FR/DE/UK cars, then they warn the foreigner driver about fire on the car/smoke... til they stop, then they rob as much they can and runaway...

in a pair of time I had called to Mossos to notice about this and both time the answer was:

" We know they are working today but can't do nothing, we can't catch them and if we catch anyone in less than 20minutes they will be on street with no punishment..."

what a nice country where I live!

so called

4,731 posts

97 months

[news] 
Wednesday 25th May 2011 quote quote all
Ì've not had a problem in the last 2 years of driving holidays in Spain.
Planning again for this year but will be a bit more aware in the future.

Funny thing is that on Monday this week I had a white van with 2 dodgy looking blokes flashing (head lights) at me and with hazards on.
I ignored them, took a left turn into a bussy area and they went straight on. Oh and this was Germany.

ScoobieWRX

4,863 posts

114 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st May 2011 quote quote all
I've not long got back from having driven down to the South of Spain via France and i didn't see or experience any of this car-jacking. Not even heard it mentioned by any of my cousins so i don't think it's that common an occurance.

All the Motorways i used were clear and trouble free, and equally i didn't even see a single cop on any of the French or Spanish toll roads in both directions apart from one sat in the central reservation just outside the Autovia near Cadiz. I went hammering by in my Surf, and he didn't come after me.

Clearly car jacking has happened but it still sounbds like a pretty rare thing. I don't think that roads in Spain are any more dangerous than any other in Europe/UK and as such i don't think it's something even worth worrying about.

In reality what are the chances of this happening to you?....Pretty damn slim i think.

H19670

1 posts

35 months

[news] 
Thursday 19th January 2012 quote quote all
Please take this seriously, my hubby and I were on our way back to the uk on Sunday 15th jan 2012, we were just outside Zaragoza, and pulled into a petrol station for a toilet stop (A68 km218) I stayed outside for a ciggie and was watching the comings and goings. A black golf pulled in and parked. There were 4 men inside, one went into to service station, then one came and sat by me for a cigarette. I watched as a third man walked over to our car, I heard a noise like metal on metal and thought he'd keyed the car. So I ran over shouting hey what do you think your doing. No scratches but he'd slashed the rear tyre of our Range Rover, I started shouting loudly, I won't repeat what, and he made a gesture as if to say he'd dropped his glove and was picking it up. And the shouted at the driver in an eastern European language something that must have been 'drive I got my mobile out and started taking pictures - not good ones as they were legging it by this time. The guardia civil arrived twenty minutes later, changed our tyre, and told us we were ver lucky as they would have pulled us over up the road and robbed us blind, including the car, and left us on the side of the road!! we still had 300 miles to Santander, and it was the most stressful journey ever. So never ever take your eyes off your car whilst in Spain. Travel safe x

ScoobieWRX

4,863 posts

114 months

[news] 
Thursday 19th January 2012 quote quote all
I don't think Spain is the problem in your post....East European was more your problem there. It could have happened to you in France over the border or any other route anywhere else in Europe where crooks know tourists use a given route regularly.

I've no doubts if the crooks were successful your car would have been whisked over the border and made its way across Europe and into Poland or wherever they came from that same day.

Kneetrembler

1,693 posts

90 months

[news] 
Thursday 19th January 2012 quote quote all
If you are ever worried buy a couple of small boat flares and keepin your glove compartment,you don't need a licence to buy or carry and they would be a very handy deterrent,used properly

Chordiant

93 posts

48 months

[news] 
Saturday 28th January 2012 quote quote all
Kneetrembler said:
If you are ever worried buy a couple of small boat flares and keepin your glove compartment,you don't need a licence to buy or carry and they would be a very handy deterrent,used properly
I like your style - a lot..!!

Chris71

Original Poster:

20,751 posts

130 months

[news] 
Sunday 29th January 2012 quote quote all
Chordiant said:
Kneetrembler said:
If you are ever worried buy a couple of small boat flares and keepin your glove compartment,you don't need a licence to buy or carry and they would be a very handy deterrent,used properly
I like your style - a lot..!!
+1 smile

Although I should point out we didn't have any trouble in 2,000 miles of driving in the end and relatively little police presence. It felt safer than driving in the grottier parts of London, that's for sure.
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