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Old 29-05-2011   #1
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Careful if you're driving across Europe.

Just read this on the VW site I use, so I copied and pasted to warn folk. I hope it's in the right place.

Warning to those driving across europe
Just a friendly warning for those who may be driving across France and Spain.

My parents got back from driving across Spain and France yesterday and told me a story of what happened to them.

They were resting at a motorway services getting some food and something to drink. One of the waiters tried to catch my Dad's attention. Eventually he did and tried his best to explain that my Dad had a flat tyre. How ever this man spoke no English what so ever. My Dad assured him that the car was fine and he would sort it out.

My Dad has a pretty modern car where it lets you know tyre pressure and its the kind of system where you stick the goo in the tyre and your on your way again.

So he checked the pressure and was on his way. He checked it again just for safety before the slip road but the car was still fine.


2 Miles down the road... flat tyre. He pulls into the next lay by.

Gets all his stuff out of the boot (a fair amount from traveling) and begins to change the tyre. At that point 2 police cars came up to the car. 6 police men surrounded them. Instructing them to put everything back in the car and call a tow truck. My parents were very confused...

Reason being, there is a current crime wave sweeping Spain and other parts of europe. Whilst your car is parked up they will slash the inside of one of your tyres. They then follow you at a distance and offer assistance when you pull over. They rob you, rob the car and take everything. The waiter at the services had called the cops to warn them.

The police said foreign plates are being targeted due to likely hood of having a lot of goods with them eg Laptops, money, passports... They also said that the people doing this are very dangerous and violent.

Kind of scary...

Sorry if this has been brought up before or is old news. I just felt it worth mentioning.
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Old 29-05-2011   #2
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Re: Careful if you're driving across Europe.

Never heard of this in France or Spain before, however it is common in Bulgaria, it's even mentioned on the Foreign Office web page for Bulgaria.

Whenever I drive through Hungary, Romania or Bulgaria, I always make sure the car is in full view when stopped at a service station or cafe.

Another scam in Bulgaria is for an apparent lone female to pretend to be broken down at the roadside with the bonnet up and try to flag you down for help. I almost fell for it last year but "smelt a rat" because I noticed she didn't try to flag down any Bulgarian cars ahead of me. About 10 minutes later, the same car with the woman and 2 men passed me further along the road. I crossed the border into Greece and was talking about it to the owner of a taverna I stopped at. He said it was a known scam in Bulgaria. Woman flags you down then the men appear.
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Old 30-05-2011   #3
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Re: Careful if you're driving across Europe.

you would have thought the police would have stood by and "guarded" him whilst he changed the wheel
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Old 30-05-2011   #4
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Re: Careful if you're driving across Europe.

There are undoubtedly numerous scams going on in Europe, just as there are here. However, while basic procedures are always advisable, I don't think we need to be paranoid.

A couple of years ago there were stories, even on the BBC News that British holiday makers parking up overnight in Aires on French Autoroutes were having people climbing on top of their caravan or motorhome and putting some form of anaesthetic gas through the roof vents and then robbing the occupants. A friend was about to travel through France in a motorhome and mentioned this. He went on a couple of forums and was told in no uncertain terms that there was no reliable evidence to back up the rumours. The Caravan Club's website also said there was no substance to the stories.

It would seem that the Daily Mail/Express had struck again.
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Old 30-05-2011   #5
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Re: Careful if you're driving across Europe.

Quote Originally Posted by Andy Monty View Post
you would have thought the police would have stood by and "guarded" him whilst he changed the wheel
Far too simple.
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Old 30-05-2011   #6
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Re: Careful if you're driving across Europe.

is it not a scam to use an overpriced towtruck which the rozzers and the waiters take a cut from the fee?
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Old 05-06-2011   #7
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Re: Careful if you're driving across Europe.

Quote Originally Posted by Big Black Stilo View Post
is it not a scam to use an overpriced towtruck which the rozzers and the waiters take a cut from the fee?
Good grief man, are you suggesting that officials in fellow EC countries are functioning well below our accepted levels of behaviour in public office?
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Old 06-06-2011   #8
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Re: Careful if you're driving across Europe.

Quote Originally Posted by The Beard View Post
Good grief man, are you suggesting that officials in fellow EC countries are functioning well below our accepted levels of behaviour in public office?
In a country where people expense moat cleaning, no, I'd say our European brothers are probably being les offensive.
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