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Playa Del Carmen Tourists Have Luggage Stolen Right Out From Under Them 

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It’s important to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings when traveling, no matter where you go, because it isn’t unheard of for tourists to be targeted by petty criminals.  But sometimes, coming in contact with a criminal is unavoidable and no fault of our own. A family of tourists in Playa del Carmen was just reminded of this when they had their luggage stolen right out from under them.  It is important to note that this was not a violent crime, and nobody was hurt. 

Luggage in a Car sitting on a Playa del Carmen street with the trunk and doors open.

These tourists were left wondering whether or not they would ever see their luggage again.  According to reports, the family of tourists was at a Playa del Carmen Walmart when the incident took place last Friday, November 25th.  A combined total of seven suitcases were stolen from the individuals from the Walmart parking lot. 

Playa del Carmen Walmart with cars in the parking lot and the Walmart sign in view.

The family from Brazil immediately contacted authorities through 911, who quickly arrived on the scene. The Municipal Police of Playa del Carmen listened to the family’s reports and immediately set out with the family to locate their luggage.  Where the story goes from here is rather incredible, as it has a bit of a surprise ending that you don’t often hear in these types of situations. 

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Tourists with Luggage walking by the water on a bridge in Playa del Carmen, with a resort in the background.

The police were able to track a cell phone and a computer belonging to the family that was left in one of the suitcases and determine the location of the stolen luggage.  Along with the family, they went to the e location and found a neighbor with surveillance cameras with a view of where the tracker was indicating the luggage was being held.  They requested to see the surveillance video, and the local resident that was the neighbor of the thieves complied.  

Tourists with Luggage at Cancun International Airport, waiting to be picked up and brought to their hotels.

On the video surveillance recording, they could clearly see a man, woman, and girl unloading the family’s suitcases from the backseat and trunk of a white Chevrolet vehicle and preparing to bring them into the home.  The family recognized the suitcases as theirs, and they were able to get them back without incident.  It isn’t common for authorities in many countries to be able to recover goods that are stolen from someone, so this family definitely got lucky.   

Cancun International Airport passengers with a lot of luggage walking through the airport.

In many cases, luggage theft is left unreported, and apparently, it is more common than you might think in Playa del Carmen and Cancun.  The thefts are reportedly the work of a gang of luggage thieves that find their targets by renting GPS-equipped cars to tourists in Playa del Carmen and at Cancun International Airport.  They then locate those tourists and, with duplicate keys, go into the car when the individuals are otherwise occupied and steal their luggage. 

Playa del Carmen troops walking down the street in uniform.

Due to the fact that so many of these incidents go unreported, it is difficult for authorities to investigate.  The consensus is that victims of these crimes may be embarrassed or simply want to forget the incident that happened.  This makes it difficult for authorities to find out who these individuals are and who is in charge of the group of luggage thieves.   

Police vehicle on a tree-lined street in Playa del Carmen.

One way to avoid a situation like this is to have someone stay in the vehicle when there is luggage in it.  Another option is not leaving any luggage in the vehicle if possible.  The best way to avoid an incident like this, though, is to be sure to rent a car from a reputable company when visiting Cancun or Playa del Carmen, so you can have your dream Mexican Caribbean vacation without having to go through such a disruptive experience.   

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Thursday 12th of October 2023

Same here, playa del carmen at AKI. at the police station i met other tourists with same problems. We have airtags in our suitcases and went to the location. Police came but they didnt went into the house.

Seems playa is a hotspot for luggage thiefs.


Tuesday 6th of December 2022

We rented a car from Hertz Rent-A-Car and had the same thing happen to us at Walmart and playa de Carmen The police did nothing about it and we never got our suitcases back please stay away from this Walmart and for the rental companies at Cancun airport also the car insurance or the credit cards did nothing for us for the loss of all our baggage and our passports


Monday 16th of January 2023

@Boris, hi Boris just saw your post. We are Australian tourists and have rented car from Hertz and take note of you post. Was there any issues with Hertz ? Do you think car was tracked? Darrell