OK, everyone goes on about how bad pickpocketing in Spain is. Most Catalans I know have had their wallet lifted once, in BCN, and my Dad got nailed while we were away. In a bathroom on a highway service center. The guy came up to him and told him that there were bird droppings on his coat (putting dirt there with a kleenex) and then proceeded to help him clean it up; and cleaned him out.
Major drag, but they didn't get the car keys or the rented car (with all the presents in it) which would have been a bigger drag.
When the Mossos (OPP equivelent - Catalan level cops) showed up, they told us that with the recessions/crisis theft is increasing insanely. People going into farmyards and stealing hand tools, like a shovel. This was further corroborated by a man that the man knows. He works in a lab in one of the universities and he told us that someone is breaking in there, almost weekly and stealing, get this, coffee percolators. Really. How desperate do you have to be to break into university offices and steal those nasty coffee percolators.
This week though our local bakery was robbed. It was about 9:30 in the morning, which is pretty quiet, and a man came in asking for directions, but he couldn't understand what she meant, and had a map and had her come out to point to him which street he had to take. His buddy went in the other door, right behind the counter and grabbed her purse, which sadly also had quite a lot of money in it to pay a wholesaler that day. He couldn't get into the cash register as it has a code, but he dashed out the door as she turned seeing him and down one street, the map holder ran down another street and was picked up by a car with a third man in it who then zipped over and picked up the man with the bag and they were off.
Huge hassle, new locks on everything, cancel the phone, new cards for everything, blah blah blah.....
The nastiest feel of it though was that it was kind of personal. The guy in the bathroom who got my dad's wallet had planned to do this, but it wasn't my dad specifically he was looking for. These guys though, they had scoped the place out and come up with a plan to do it.