Colombian-born Eliana guerrero: the pickpocket huntress of Barcelona’s subways
While riding the subway in her hometown of Barcelona, Eliana Guerrero saw pickpockets steal a case of insulin from two elderly tourists. That crime motivated guerrero to do something for help her city. “i try to solve things that affect me directly,” says guerrero. “pickpockets directly affect me because i adore barcelona.”
since 2009 eliana guerrero has spent around 3 hours a day patrolling the barcelona metro.
Armed with a whistle and only a few items for protection, such as pepper spray, she travels the metro warning tourists about the dangers of pickpockets and confronting the pickpockets themselves, herding them out of the metro, with the help of the transport police.
Eliana says, “my mother always told me, ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer. Many people are needed to change things.’ but i don’t think so. If a person says, there’s something wrong here, that’ll draw attention, and more people will eventually join you. But somebody should take the initiative.”
local police say that there are about 150 pickpockets on the metro system each day with an average of 250 robberies reported each week.