Tourist's warning after bag full of camera equipment stolen in Ibiza

  • 18/09/2022
Ibiza. Photo credit: Getty Images

A tourist has revealed his US$30,000 (NZ$49,378) mistake after his bag full of personal items was stolen in Spain.

Photographer Patrick Biller was visiting Ibiza in July when he stopped at a cafe while waiting to board a ferry. He sat his suitcase and camera bag next to him, turned to admire Ibiza Town and took a quick photo of the boats. But when he turned back, his camera bag was gone.

"It took me a few moments to realize what had happened before I quickly got up, asking everyone around me if they saw someone take my bag," Biller wrote in Architectural Photography Almanac.

"Nobody seemed interested in helping me but one man said that moments earlier there was a man sitting next to me having a drink and now he was gone. It was him. He saw me drop my guard and he pounced, cut my bag straps, and ran off with $30k worth of camera gear and other personal items."

The bag had a camera, several photography equipment items, laptops, headphones, a passport, €500 (NZ$824), and more.

Despite cancelling his credit and debit cards, the thief had already used a card to pay for their getaway taxi.

Not only was a lot of Biller's expensive equipment stolen, he realised his insurance didn't cover him.

"I learned that my policy only covered hotel/motel break-ins with proof of forced entry up to $2500. This came as a total shock. I called them and they confirmed that this type of theft was not covered," he said.

He added that the police were "very sympathetic" and went through every stolen item to include their report. 

Billing did miraculously get his passport back though after a British tourist found it in a rental car 45 minutes away.

He said the "most important lesson" from this is to always check how much you are covered by travel insurance.

"Learning that none of my gear was covered under my current plan was devastating," Billing wrote.

"The purpose of sharing this experience is not only to express that this can happen to anyone but also to explain what I learned from it in an attempt to help others be better prepared in the event it might happen to you."