Pickpocket Stories from Around the World! May 21 2012, 1 Comment

Recently Smarter Travel hosted a give away where two winners received a Clever Travel Companion product of their choice. The winning stories were announced a few weeks ago. The stories that were not picked by Smarter Travel were all just as interesting and they can all act as excellent advice for travelers on how pickpockets and thieves actually do what they do! Here's a first installment of stories:   

"f friends walking to a local gelato store when an elderly gypsy woman with a baby came up to me and grabbed my shirt lapels. She pleaded for help to feed the baby. She was dressed in colorful raggedy clothing . It was very distracting In the meantime her other hand was reaching into my jeans pocket and taking what she could. When we got to the gelato shop I offered to pay for the ice creams but realized instantly what had happened when all my money was GONE!. I reported it to the police and was told it is very common and to wear an undercover wallet to avoid this in the future. I learned my lesson..."

"My wife and were in Paris in 2008, catching the Metro to Versailles. Two men early am, asked if we needed help to Versailles. We did ask what stop to get off in Versailles. The Metro can be somewhat confusing as we are from California. While we were looking at a map, I noticed another man walking around the seats my wife left her backpack.  Needless to say on the transfer to Versailles we needed to pay for Metro and my wife's wallet was gone. So we lost over $1000 in USA and Franc.  Reported to Police, cancelled our credit cards while in France. The journey ended, but we still have a great visit.  3 months later my wife's drivers license arrived at our home in California from France. Guess someone found the empty wallet or the thief decided to send us her license.  Very strange that anyone would send us her license.""

"Robbed in Madrid, which I think it could have been prevented with Clever Travel Companion gear!  I was double parked in Madrid while my friends ran across the street to see if the hotel had rooms.  A man came up to the window, speaking Spanish and pointing towards the rear of the car. Sure enough, like a dummy, I turned around to look, and he took the purse from my lap (with, of course, everything inside). If only I had some Clever Travel Companion gear to stow my passport and valuables"


"I was travelling on the train in Mexico through the Copper Canyon. My travel group had an entire car to ourselves - so I felt it was okay to leave my Lowpro mini camera backpack on the overhead shelf above my seat. I had my very expensive SLR camera around my neck and my extra lens and polarizers in my fanny pack which I was wearing as I wanted to photgraph out the open doorways of the train and at the various stations where we stopped. I had stowed a light jacket and a couple of apples and bananas in my camera bag before I placed it on the overhead shelf. Needless to say - when I returned to get my gear when it was time to depart my camera bag was gone. I'm sure whoever took it thought they had scored big time - and no one saw it disappear! A lesson well learned!"

"A number of years ago on a business/pleasure trip to Europe, I ruined my last pair of pantyhose. Because I was meeting with a university president at my next destination, I decided I needed to purchase hose in a big city with large department stores.  After 30 minutes of intense searching in a famous Paris grand magasin, I found a pair of tall/queensize hose in an acceptable color. I paid and placed the tiny cardboard box (about 1.5" square) in the pocket of my jacket. I walked only a short distance before a dark haired man, incredibly handsome but at least three inches shorter than I, bumped into me very hard, stared intently up into my eyes as he said "Pardonez-moi," then rapidly moved on. I soon realized that the tiny box in my pocket was missing. The pantyhose cost at least three times as much as at my local discount store in the US, but I was more annoyed by the time lost searching for them.  However, I quickly laughed aloud and said"

Image from 'How stuff works"