Remind To Hold On To Your Phone While In Sao Paulo (And South America In General)


When I noticed some cracks on the glass of my Samsung S8+ that I had purchased in Sydney (at a ridiculous price!) after my Nexus 6P had suddenly died on a flight from Hobart on July 1st, it didn’t come to my mind that I would have lost it by the end of the day.

Sao Paulo

I had been watching a movie at the Patio Paulista shopping center in Sao Paulo and was walking back to the InterContinental hotel. When I was crossing a street, a guy riding a bicycle basically snatched the phone from my hand and was gone in a second.

Brazilian friend had warned me to be careful with my phone earlier in the evening but never came to my mind that it could be gone like this. I had second phone in my pocket (Pixel XL) that I used to swipe the Samsung one using the Android device manager.

This was actually fifth phone stolen in South America over the years:

– One with a knife in my face in Medellin

– Snatched when I was walking back to Crowne Plaza in Santiago

– One in Rio de Janeiro and one Buenos Aires


When I was chatting with the staff at the InterContinental here in Sao Paulo, this is not uncommon at all. One of the employees had his phone stolen the same way three months ago. Apparently these stolen phones are mainly used for parts.

I love walking in cities and this is just cost of doing business for me (and I don’t like always using taxis/Uber). Few years back, I actually gave up on iPhones because they were getting stolen even faster pace than these Android devices.

I usually travel with two phones and laptops. One of the phones (Pixel XL) is mainly used for tethering purposes and the second one for everything else. Need to get this stolen S8+ replaced when I get out from South America next week.

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