Mendoza Argentina: Ground Zero for petty thieves at bus terminal, you are being watched

Posted on February 14, 2013 • Filed under: Latin America, Tourist Robbed, Tourist Warning

Crimes against tourists Argentina
According to, Mendoza, Argentina is known to be relatively safe for foreign tourists. However, their weakest area may be the main bus station known as, La Terminal de Ómnibus. This large bus terminal is a sea of humanity with lots of people and numerous foreign tourists coming from Chile and points beyond. It is this group that petty thieves are in search for and can make for a very unpleasant trip. They are on the search for these foreigners looking to commit petty theft by relieving them of their baggage, backpacks, purses, and personal documents. They particular focus on Chileans, Europeans, and Asians which they feel are particularly easy marks.
Brief description of their modus operandi:

1. They usually sweep quickly trhough the terminal with their eye out for a foreign tourist and that usually will have several bags.
2. They will look for the moment the tourist is distracted by something or is not paying attention and they move fast to steal the items and leave quickly.
3. If the thieves are working as a team, one of them may talk or say anything to the tourist or maybe act friendly and ask a question, causing a distraction when the accomplice snatches the items and takes off. There is no indication that thieves use weapons.
NOTE: While it appears that there are security cameras, the article points out it is not clear if they are ever working or if they work at all.
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