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Reports Emerge Of Tourists Shoplifting And Street Begging In Bali

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Over the last year, Bali has been working to combat a small but significant minority of tourists who have been violating the law and disrespecting local culture.

Violations have ranged from public indecency to driving illegally, but content circulating online shows a shocking rise in the number of tourists shoplifting. 

Street in Kuta Bali.jpg

In an Instagram story shared by Smokeys Protein Smoothies, a juice bar and health food shop in Batu Bologna, Canggu, shows CCTV images of two tourists suspected of shoplifting.

In the Instagram story, the business wrote, “Some customers are very forgetful. They forget to pay for the items they have put in their pockets or their bags.”

The business then tagged several Canggu-based Instagram community groups that have circulated the image to try and track down the suspects. 

Sadly this is not the first time businesses, notably businesses in Canggu, have had to take to social media to try and track down tourists who have been caught shoplifting on CCTV.

Suspects have been recorded stealing everything from jewelry from independent boutiques, drugs from the pharmacy, to alcohol and more. 

While the police and tourism task forces are out and about, many businesses feel the most effective way to draw attention to the issue is to post about it on social media. 

Over in Kuta, Bali’s Tourism Task Force is looking for a Muslim woman who is believed to have been begging from local businesses.

Head of the Kuta Beach Task Force, I Wayan Sirna, told reporters, “I received a report from a task force officer that there was a couple who appeared to be from Pakistan and their wife carrying a baby in a pram begging here. But after we traced them to the north, they were gone.” 

@slava.leo How helmets are stolen in Bali 😟 I come to the bike in the morning — and the helmet was stolen. The recording from the camera, as it was. #bali #2023 #helmet #stolen #karma ♬ Pirates Of The Caribbean – Main Theme – He's A Pirate – Geek Music

The Task Force remains on the lookout for the young family and has called on the public to continue to report any incidences of public disturbance caused by foreigners on the island.

Sirna concluded. “It’s true that if there are reports like this, we and our members continue to pay attention and carry out searches regarding the whereabouts of these foreigners.”

But as a small but seemingly increasing minority of tourists are shoplifting and street begging, tourists have been reminded this week to keep a close eye on their belongings, especially in busy resort areas like Legian. 


Security officers and the police in Legian have committed to increasing night patrols of the resort following an increase in thefts and muggings against tourists.

Speaking to the media, the Head of Legian Village, Ni Putu Eka Martini, revealed that 24-hour patrols will be conducted in the area for the foreseeable future. 

Known as the Kancil Team, officers are on hand to conduct surveillance and to follow up on any reports of suspicious activity in the area.

Martini confirmed that he and his teams are prioritizing public safety and security in the Legian area. 


He explained, “We have started patrolling again because this is also responding to various incidents and reports from a number of accommodations claiming that guests were victims of mugging.”

The teams are patrolling the whole of the Legian resort with a specific focus on Jalan Legian, Jalan Padma, and Jalan Popies. 

Tourists across the island are being urged to check and double-check their rental motorcycles when they are parking.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of reports of helmet thefts across the island, targeting both locals and tourists. 


Following the theft of a moped in the Seminyak area earlier this week, tourists are being urged by motorcycle rental providers to double check they have not left the key in the ignition when they park and leave the area.

Seemingly opportunistic thieves stole a Honda Scoopy from outside The Capital Hotel in Seminyak on Sunday evening after an Australian tourist accidentally left the keys in the engine. 

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Monday 23rd of October 2023

Stealing is part of the Russian culture.

Just saying.


Saturday 28th of October 2023

@BaliDuck, Seems whingeing is a major part of of Bali Sun commentators.

J West

Sunday 22nd of October 2023

Thievery up while government encourages thieves with longer visas? Makes no sense if a “tourist” can’t verify sufficient funds on arrival.


Monday 23rd of October 2023

@J West,

Seems like the comments with great simple suggestions have dwindled after people realize it is pointless.

Suzanne Bestwick

Sunday 22nd of October 2023

We stayed a month in September this year the weather was beautiful we had a chance to visit a lot of places caught up with old Balinese friends time to wind down swimming lovely

Wayan Bo

Sunday 22nd of October 2023

No more wearing gold chains, armlet, Diamond rings and Cartier watch in Bali. - Same with iPhone, especially if in iPhone are informations about AMEX black card.


Saturday 21st of October 2023

I'm gonna be outside CERN soon begging them to turn back time so that I never booked my first AirBnB on this island.


Sunday 22nd of October 2023

@C, CERN? That acronym is going to fly over the heads of many a reader here.