One out of five British passports stolen in Alicante province are taken at the airport, and half of them are removed from vehicles there, the British Consulate has warned.
Beyond the airport, a further one out of five British passports are stolen from vehicles on the road or in car parks.
The high level of passport thefts from vehicles are the focus of a new drive by the Consulate and police to reduce the number of Brits who suffer the consequent losses of time and money.
The British Consulate last week met car hire companies at Alicante airport and the national police to discuss ways to reduce the number of British nationals who fall victim to passport robbery when they collect their hire cars.
The Consulate asked car hire companies to remove stickers from the back of cars as this makes them an obvious target for thieves. One company revealed that since removing stickers from its cars, the number of broken windscreens had reduced greatly.
The car hire companies said they will issue new advice to customers:
The police promised more patrols at the car hire collection point and closer working with car hire companies. They also urged car hire companies to publicise the telephone number 902 102 112 for tourists to report a crime in English if they do fall victim.
Watch a video on how to avoid becoming a victim of roadside robbery