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Burglarized During a Vacation in Barcelona: What To Do?

This legal question related to general practice attorneys in California has been answered.


My belongings were stolen from my rental apartment while I was vacationing in Barcelona. Need advice on the next steps.

I was in Barcelona last week for a vacation, staying in a rental apartment I found online. On the third day, I returned to the apartment to find my door ajar and my belongings missing. Stolen items include my passport, laptop, camera, and around €500 in cash. I immediately contacted the local police and filed a report. However, with the language barrier and my limited time in the city, I'm feeling lost. I want to know my rights as a tourist, the responsibilities of the apartment owner, and how I can recover some, if not all, of my losses. I've also heard Spain has unique laws related to tourist theft.

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1 month ago, general practice attorneys, Philadelphia

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to general practice attorneys in the jurisdiction of California. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Analysis and Understanding of Your Situation

Experiencing theft, especially in a foreign country, can be distressing. The points you've shared highlight the need to understand your rights in Spain and the responsibilities of the rental apartment owner.

Relevant Barcelona and Spain Laws

  • Spanish Penal Code Article 237: This article outlines theft and its penalties in Spain.
  • Barcelona's Tourist Assistance Service: This is a special service set up to help tourists who are victims of crimes in Barcelona.

Potential Solutions to Your Problem

  1. Passport Loss: Immediately contact your country's consulate or embassy in Spain. They can guide you on getting a temporary or emergency passport to travel back.

  2. Apartment Owner Responsibility: Depending on the agreement you had, the owner might have varying degrees of liability. If the theft was due to negligence on their part (e.g., faulty locks), they might be responsible. Review your rental agreement.

  3. Insurance: Check if your travel insurance covers theft. If so, they may compensate for some of your losses. Also, some credit card companies offer travel protection, which might cover theft.

  4. Tourist Assistance Service: Seek help from Barcelona's Tourist Assistance Service. They provide legal advice, psychological support, and other assistance to tourists who are crime victims.

Price Estimation for Legal Assistance in Barcelona

Service Description Average Price
Initial Consultation €100 - €200
Legal Assistance with Theft €400 - €1,000
Assistance with Passport Issues €200 - €500

Seeking Further Information

To assist you more effectively, we'd need more detailed insights:

  1. What security measures did the rental apartment offer (e.g., security cameras)?
  2. Did you inform the rental apartment's owner or manager about the incident?
  3. Have you reached out to your travel insurance provider about the theft?

Q1: How common is theft in tourist areas in Barcelona?

Barcelona, despite its charm, has areas known for pickpocketing and theft, especially in tourist-heavy spots. Always be vigilant.

Q2: Will the local police in Barcelona investigate the theft?

While the police take theft seriously, due to the high number of theft cases in tourist areas, it might take time before they can thoroughly investigate your case.

Q3: Can I sue the rental apartment owner for negligence?

If you can prove the owner was negligent (e.g., faulty locks, lack of security), you might have a case. Consult with a local attorney.

Q4: What should I do if I discover stolen property in local pawn shops?

Report it to the police immediately and provide them with the police report number from your initial complaint.

Q5: Is there a specific helpline for tourists facing such issues in Barcelona?

Yes, the Tourist Assistance Service provides a helpline for tourists. Their contact details can be found on the official Barcelona Tourist Office website.

Always remember, while this information aims to provide general advice, consulting with local professionals or authorities will give you the most accurate and actionable information. Safe travels!


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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Legal question "Burglarized During a Vacation in Barcelona: What To Do?" has been changed 2 months 4 weeks ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of California & area of law: general practice attorneys.
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