Saudi women who are currently enjoying their summer vacation in Greece have been warned of a rise in the number of thefts affecting the kingdom's nationals in the country, Saudi Gazette reported.
In a statement made on Sunday, the Saudi Ambassador to Greece, Essam Beitu Al-Maal, said "the wealthy looks of Saudi women" have made them a target for robbers in areas including Athens.
He also added that four theft cases have been reported to the embassy since early June. They all involved Saudi women holidaying in Athens and took place in crowded areas as well as on the city's metro.
Al-Maal stressed that a similar warning is issued every summer because Saudi women have long been victims of thefts in the area. Several cases of theft among Saudis have also been reported in Greek islands. Robbers usually target apartments rented by vacationers and break into them when they are away.
Unfortunately, none of the stolen items have been retrieved. Those who lost passports in theft incidents will be granted travel pass documents to go back home. The embassy will also pay for their accommodation and support them if faced with other issues.
As the number of Saudi tourists flocking to Athens to escape the summer heat and enjoy a beach vacation, the rise in theft cases is expected to continue.
Nareeman, a Saudi woman touring Greece with her family, told StepFeed that she and her cousin were victims of a theft incident on Tuesday.
"We were on a bus touring Athens and stopped to sightsee. We didn't notice anything suspicious when we were walking around the area but when we got back on the bus, both my mobile and hers were gone. Our wallets were also snatched out of our backpacks and we don't know how that happened," she said.
"My credit cards, ID cards and everything else is gone. I had a good amount of cash in there too," she added.
Both women are veiled while their mothers wore abayas. None of the women had expensive jewelry on them. Nareeman believes their clothes were key identifiers to robbers, who recognized them as Saudi.
"Some friends who came here a week before we did warned me of thefts because they had their purses stolen while on the metro in Athens, but I never thought it could happen while we were simply walking around in an area that isn't super crowded. It's shocking but it's happening all the time, so I think it's best to walk around with the essentials and to keep important items locked up in the hotel's safe. That's what we're going to do for the next few days," she said.