As a crowded city full of tourists, many of whom carry lots of cash, Barcelona has its fair share of crime. It’s particularly notorious for its pickpockets: while driving a lady who had booked me for her Barcelona airport shuttle, she told me how she’d been pickpocketed on the metro while initially making her way from the airport to the hotel.Planned Pickpocket AttacksShe believes the thieves had first spotted her when she had her purse out to buy tickets. Unlike in London, it’s possible to get mobile phone signal on the Barcelona metro, so not being followed by one thief doesn’t mean that they’re not communicating with each other and planning the theft. While changing trains on a crowded platform, ample luggage in tow, my passenger first felt somebody squeezing her bum, but couldn’t see anyone she thought might be the culprit. Soon afterwards, she was surrounded by a group of young women, none of whom seemed to be paying attention to her, and one of the young women was pressed against her in the crowd.An older woman caught her eye and stared hard at her: she stared back, and this was how her attention was diverted from her own body and belongings. After a few seconds, the woman waved her hand and both she and the group of younger women rapidly dispersed. My passenger checked her bag and found that her purse, full of cash, was gone.Tips For Keeping Your Belongings SafeMy first tip to avoid such incidents is to never carry too much: the more you’re carrying, the more your attention is divided and the easier it is for pickpockets to avail themselves of your possessions. This means packing carefully at the beginning of each day, not taking more than you need, and booking a Barcelona airport shuttle so you don’t have to traverse the crowds with lots of bags in tow. Always pre-book and use a reputable company, like Shuttle Direct, in order to ensure that your bags and belongings are in safe hands while you’re riding your Barcelona airport shuttle. Also, avoid carrying excessive amounts of cash: most hotels have safes, and you’re best off taking just the cash you’ll need for that day and locking the rest away.Shuttle Direct’s Barcelona airport shuttle services also offer door-to-door service and highly professional drivers, meaning that you’ll have to spend next to no time at all watching your bags out in public: you’ll only need to keep an eye on them for a few minutes between arrivals, the vehicle, and your hotel. A pre-booked Barcelona airport shuttle also eliminates the need to carry extra cash for a local taxi, ensuring discretion.Keep Your Wits About You!Another thing to keep in mind when travelling in the city is that pickpockets are not masters of sleight of hand: rather, they operate on the fairly simple principle of distraction. If someone or something is invading your space or otherwise attracting your attention, this is when you should be focusing on your valuables: you’d be surprised how much you can miss when you’re focusing on something else! Other classic pickpocket tricks include using children to do the job, blocking your vision with newspapers or maps, and using a pretext to approach your table at a café or restaurant to scan it for valuables. This is also why it’s unwise to leave valuables, such as phones or wallets, on the table, even at a secure-feeling environment like a restaurant.Don’t let stories like this put you off Barcelona, though. Keep your wits about you and you can have an unforgettable, theft-free holiday.