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Want to Report a Crime in Spain? Well, Tough. You Can't

13 September 2017 | Mri Grout - A Lifelong Vagabond


Like seriously. You can't. We tried.

So if you're asking yourself whether or not you should get travel insurance for Spain, the answer is no. A big. Fat. No.

Because to report a crime in Spain you need a residencia card, which is only retrieved after a three months long and confusing process...for an EU citizen. If you're not a member of the EU then tough shit because you can't ever report a crime in Spain so good luck trying to get a police report - you know that single piece of evidence needed to claim on your insurance.

I wish I was joking, but I'm not. You simple cannot report a crime in Spain as a traveler unless you have a residencia card. So if you're from the EU and are planning to stay in the country longer than three months, I would seriously recommend going through the process of getting a residencia card just in case you need it.

And if not, don't leave your valuables in a car, park at a trailhead after dark even if it was on accident because you got lost and the Spanish maps were completely useless, place your wallet in an easy-to-grab-from pocket, trust a stranger to look after your belongings while swimming, go swimming with any belongings left behind at the crowded beaches (though it is illegal to not have your passport on you at all times in Spain so how you deal with that is up to you), stay out of the higher crime areas during their peak hours of operation (you'll have to research or ask a local about these), and if someone asks you if this dropped wallet is yours just say yes and take it (otherwise they'll know where your wallet is when you go to check you didn't drop it).

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police car
This is an American police car because it's illegal to photograph Spanish police people or cars.

Luckily, Rob had already gone through the process of getting a residencia card as we were trying to get me the right to remain in Spain via the EEA family visa permit. We weren't able to get this because our funds were in an English bank account and not a fund-stealing, no-need-to-tell Spanish bank account (also being serious about that - Spanish banks, third party companies, and the police are allowed to take money out of your account without telling you), but we were able to report our $13,000 robbery...after an hour of trying to get them to file a police report before remembering that an expat told us we needed a residencia card to report a crime. Once we mentioned that, no more 'mañanas' (literal translation: morning | actual translation: never) and we were able to report the crime that had been committed against us and drive the five and a half hours back to our apartment in the middle of the freezing night with a broken window and no jackets or food.

Stealing paragliders is NOT PROFITABLE!

PS: Stealing paragliders is NOT PROFITABLE. They cost a lot to buy yes, but everyone has connections with every other glider all around the world because it's such a small community. Also, it's a very specialized sport, so not many people are buying - ESPECIALLY not in a small people's weight range. I am literally like the only person buying an XS paraglider wing. Then you need to know the hours spent flying because anyone looking to buy will have a good idea when you show them the merchandise, and if there are any tears. Really it's a right hassle for honest people to resell wings so if you're a thief and you see a large backpack, just open it first. If it is stuffed with a plastic-y fabric, save yourself the effort of lugging its heavy-ass weight around.

Also, if you're breaking into a car via the window PLEASE BREAK THE BACK ONE. No need to be an even bigger douche than you already are.

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