There is a criminal gang operating here in the south of Tenerife right now and many have been robbed.
Their scheme is something like this:
A man stops a tourist (could even be a couple) on the street asking for the direction or something.
Then suddenly two other men come up and identify themselves by showing false police cards.
They tell the tourist, that the man he is talking to is a drug dealer and ask him if he did buy drugs from him.
When the tourist says no they ask to get the bag to check up the contents.
They check the bag and if there is money or a passport or something else of value they steal it.
Then they give the bag back and tell - "okey, you can go".
The best thing is to not carry any handbags when you go out. Try to keep everything in the pockets if it's possible.
The handbags are like baits for the criminals.