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Now that the sun is shining everyone feels better - whether you are on holiday or are lucky enough to live here the sun puts everyone in "holiday mode"... unfortunately it appears to have the same effect on our brains! You become more relaxed and carefree and this is when you are more likely to fall prey to becoming a victim of theft.

Only this week I have witnessed the devastating effects it can have on someone and the trauma of what to do. First and foremost, as soon as you become aware that you have been a victim - whether your wallet has been pick pocketed or property broken into - it is essential that you go to the Guardia Civil to report it and get a report number. Without this number you will be unable to do anything - insurance companies require this and in order to get any new documents you will need this number.When you go to report the crime the person who is the victim must be there ie. If your partner or spouse has been the victim then they must be present - you cannot report it on their behalf. The other essential and very important thing you must bring is your passport. Now, if its your passport that has been stolen then my bet is you haven't a clue what the number is ! Here is my advice - and this applies to everyone and something which I have done.
 
Scan your passport, driving license, ALL your credit cards which you carry in your wallet or purse, save it as a document and email it to yourself or save it to an online document storage place "in the cloud" such as SkyDrive for hotmail or iCloud for Apple users. If you are then in the unfortunate position you can go to any computer, log into your account and open the attachment. I had a credit card in my purse which I didn't even realize I had - so if I had to report my stolen cards to the bank I would have missed one. I have also done this with my car registration documents as here in Spain you have to carry the original in the car .... yes I know, if your car is stolen they have the originals !!!

With regards to home security ensure you lock all windows when leaving the property. Now that the weather is hot many people are tempted to leave them open slightly, especially if there is a "reja" or grill on but this is what thieves are looking out for. This week I witnessed how easily they get in, even with a reja - they bent 1 small bar back and managed to climb into the property - you wouldn't believe that someone could have crawled through such a small gap but trust me they can ! The occupants had decided to walk to a local restaurant and so left the hire car outside - the keys to it left on the sideboard. The thieves cleaned the house out, literally and took the car too - probably putting all the loot into it! They came back after their meal and everything was gone - car, property, passports, laptop - it was only their second day and they had 3000€ cash stolen too.

Keep all windows locked at ground floor level when going out. Even if you are upstairs or outside by the pool - if you cannot see the open doors or windows, keep them locked. I have heard of an incident where the occupants were all by the pool and left the patio doors open. A "gypsy type woman" walked into the house and started rummaging through possessions in the knowledge that she was within feet of the occupants. One of them came back inside and caught her red handed but she just mumbled that she was lost and ran off before it registered what was happening! So be aware ...

I hope that I haven't scared you into thinking this is a crime ridden place - it isn't, but if you are sensible and vigilant then hopefully you won't be a victim - and enjoy your time here in this beautiful place.

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0 #2 Lee derbyshire 2013-09-28 15:06
Whe is the guardia Civil police office in benodrom please?
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0 #1 ALBA CONSULTAS 2011-06-24 10:23
Yes you should first and foremost file a denuncia with the Guardia Civil, but then you should also contact the card issuers and stop the cards directly.

Stuart, ALBA CONSULTAS
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