Be Aware and Know How to Avoid Them

In the last few weeks reports about robberies on the main road from and to the airport and drive-by thefts have increased. And even though we already mentioned these problems on our Safety & Security page as well as on our Getting Around with Taxis in Lima page, we once again want to make you aware of it, so your visit to Lima isn't spoiled with something unpleasant like a robbery.

Robberies on the main airport route and how to avoid them

Especially on, but not restricted to the main road from and to the airport, crooks wander around or with a motorcycle drive slowly by vehicles stuck in traffic jams or waiting at a red light and look out for passengers having any valuables in sight (bags on the lap, cellphone / smartphone in your hand, tablets or laptops within reach). They then smash the window of the car, grab whatever they can and run or drive off before you even can react.

To avoid this unpleasant experience, we highly recommend placing luggage and bigger bags in the locked trunk. Have your money and important documents in your pockets. Smaller bags that you don't want to put into the trunk like backpacks, handbags, cameras, laptops, etc. should be placed on the floor next to your feet or even in the small space that forms when sitting down under your legs and not next to you on the seat or even on your lap. And to make it more difficult to smash the windows, just open it a little bit.

Drive-by thefts

Another version unfortunately increasingly reported in districts commonly frequented by tourists is the drive-by or walk-by scenario. While you walk around with your handbag or backpack casually over your shoulder or your cell, smartphone, camera or camcorder carelessly in your hand, thieves pass on a motorcycle, bicycle or even on foot and before you even know what's going on, snatch what they are after and drive / run off.

So best don't carry a handbag or backpack with you. But if you can't do without, wear it properly, best to your front and don't have anything valuable in it. Money and credit cards, but as well your passport are better placed in pockets or in a money belt under your clothes. When using your camera or camcorder (preferably not the latest and most expensive model) use the hand strap and don't only hold it carelessly in your hands.

Avoid robberies in cafés and restaurants

And one other thing that just came to my mind: Ever wondered what these elastic bands with snap hooks or plastic buckles are for you find attached to chairs in some restaurants and (street) cafés? As theft in places where you normally would enjoy a coffee or a nice meal unfortunately isn't unheard of, some establishments added this little "security feature". Just hook in the straps of your backpack or handbag and best place it on your lap (not on the ground). Although this method isn't 100% secure, you at least make it more difficult for passers-by to steal your bag. And as a matter of course don't put your cellphone, purse, camera or other valuable items carelessly on the table.

Please allow me just a final comment. Lima shouldn't be considered worse when it comes to safety and security matters than most other big city in the world. Above mentioned scenarios happen here and there, yes; and in the last few weeks more often than usual. My intention is not to scare you, but to draw your attention to these unpleasant occurrences with the objective of showing you that with the right precautions a lot of incidents can be avoided. Opportunity makes thieves - so don't give it and follow our simple and easy recommendations. These should ensure not being targeted in the first place. Have a nice and pleasant stay in Lima!