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Berlin tourists warned of rise in theft

The Local · 5 Mar 2012, 14:21

Published: 05 Mar 2012 14:21 GMT+01:00

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Areas bustling with tourists such as Alexanderplatz in the east of the city, and the area around the Zoo train station have been highlighted by the police as popular haunts for petty thieves, Berlin daily Tagesspiegel reported on Monday.

In the first nine months of 2011, the number of street thefts reported to the police hit 9,356 – a 17.5-percent increase on the previous year.

In reality this number is probably much higher, as many pickpocketing incidents go unreported. This is unsurprising, since perpetrators are almost impossible to trace – in 2011 just 3.8 percent of street robberies were solved.

Along with pickpocketing, police have reported a rise in imposter charity collectors who often target tourists or elderly people at home and ask for donations to a fabricated cause.

The Tagesspiegel reported that like street robbery, hundreds of fake charity scams go unreported every year - often due to embarrassment.

The success rate of solving household thefts was much higher, however, at 31 percent. Police figures also showed that 71 percent of the identified perpetrators were of foreign origin.

Story continues below…

The government announced recently that it is to fund a project to help elderly people living in the capital to handle situations with strangers knocking at the door.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:59 March 5, 2012 by XFYRCHIEF
Last time we were in Berlin, two members of our group had purses stolen while visiting the Brandenburg Gate. When we returned home, we found our luggage had been broken into and items stolen while at the airport in Frankfurt. But, then, this can happen in any city; one must learn to protect their stuff.
17:50 March 5, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:09 March 5, 2012 by Englishted
Interesting that 71% figure ,why not break it down into ethnic origin?
21:11 March 5, 2012 by crm114
I think you know the reason why Ted, its the same one that does not allow our comments on "Many German Muslims refuse to integrate"
22:04 March 5, 2012 by wood artist
I find this interesting. I don't deny the numbers, but I've always felt very safe in Berlin, moreso even that in other cities such as New York. To me that seems odd, given that I'm an American and New York probably should seem more like "home." With few exceptions, Berliners have always been welcoming and happy to help, even with my limited German skills. I've hit snags a couple times, but it's never been a big thing.

I never really give street crime much thought in Germany, although I don't doubt some exists. The only "crime" I've encountered was a little kid who ran over me on his wooden bicycle, while riding on "my part" of the sidewalk. Come to think of it, I also got hit (and leveled) by a woman on bicycle in Leverkeusen. She was riding on the "walking" side of a clearly marked pathway.

Maybe it's bicycles that don't like me.

08:25 March 6, 2012 by Englishted
I had my pocket picked in London in August last year by a Romanian street beggar ,classic hold up one thing so you look and at the same time empty the back pocket with the other hand.

Having lived a bit the only thing in my pocket was a street map ,inconvenient but not a police matter as by the time I had found it go I was far away from the perpetrator. (lost but far away)
13:23 March 7, 2012 by William Thirteen
mmm..tasty tourists. we Berliners look forward to more of them for kinky sex and organ harvesting!
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