After getting off the train, we exited the platform and looked at the subway exit map to see which exit to take. When we decided which exit would be best, we started walking towards the stairs that led to the exit. B had been to Barcelona before so he led the way.
This next bit all happened in a split second. As soon as I felt uneasy, I turned to my left (where luckily the wall was made of a dark reflective stone material) and saw a reflection of the pickpocket with his arm wrist-deep in my bag. I snapped around instantly, instinctively grabbed his right arm (the one that was in my bag), and yelled in his face, "HEY!" After checking with my other hand to make sure my passport and wallet were still there (they were), I roared to Bryson (who had turned around at this point), "This mother-f***** tried to steal my wallet!"
Here are some more tips:
- Be a hard target. If you blend in and look like you know what you're doing, you're less likely to be targeted than if you obviously look like a lost foreigner.
- Don't have anything to steal. Minimize the valuables (jewelry and money) you have on you.
- Hide what you do have. Put your valuables in a money belt or interior pocket so it's hard to get. Ladies make sure you swing your bag to the front.
- Sit near the bus driver/conductor. Pickpockets tend to avoid the first car of the train, since the conductor is usually there.
- Avoid commotions/crowds. Any commotion is likely a distraction so you don't notice the pickpockets.