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Vagabond Journey

Professional Thievery

Buenos Aires, Argentina – It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Buenos Aires. Mid 80’s. Sunny blue sky. The street cafes were full and people were lying in the park sunbathing. I took a trip to Recoleta to visit the cemetery and stroll through the parks. I was thoroughly enjoying my day with a smile [...]

Buenos Aires, Argentina –

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Buenos Aires. Mid 80’s. Sunny blue sky. The street cafes were full and people were lying in the park sunbathing. I took a trip to Recoleta to visit the cemetery and stroll through the parks.

I was thoroughly enjoying my day with a smile on my face and was about to sit down next to a tree and read a newspaper when my back was covered in a green, goo that smelled awful. I was walking under a tree at the time so my first thought was that a bird just took a major crap all over my backside. A woman who was in her fifties approached with a bottle of water offering to help. Shortly thereafter a man of an equal age also approached who had a napkin on him and helped as well.


I’m cleaning my shoulder the woman is cleaning my back and the guy is cleaning my shorts. Getting most of goo off they walk away and I say bye. A minute later I notice my bag is unzipped but the zipper is still in the zipped position. I didn’t even need to feel inside my bag to realize that the whole scene that just occurred was set-up by two professional thieves using one of the oldest tricks out there and that they had got away with my new Canon. I had just bought the camera three weeks ago in Panama City to replace the Lumix I had bought in Antigua which was a replacement for my original camera that stolen in Lake Atitlan. I won’t be replacing this one and will be sticking to the Lumix. I now know just how good these thieves are. They were able to break open a zipper and dig beneath a newspaper and a book to the bottom of my bag in a matter of seconds.

I guess I was enjoying my day a little too much and they saw an easy target taking a stroll near a park. Security is always an issue while traveling and you always hear, “One can never be too careful.” At some point though you get tired of feeling that every time you walk down the street you need to be looking over your shoulder. I will obviously need to re-evaluate how I handle people in the street, my own personal space and where I keep certain items on my person for the future.

Filed under: Argentina, Cubicle Ditcher, Security

About the Author:

Sam Langley left a comfortable and profitable job with an insurance company in the USA to travel the world. He has been going for years, and has not stopped yet. Keep up with his travels on his blog at Cubicle Ditcher. has written 147 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.