Smarter Travel Pickpocket Stories, Part 2

Here we go again, the second installment of pickpocket stories from Smarter Travel! Enjoy and hopefully tale a little something away from them!

"In our family trip of 99, we had a stop in the Paris, France that I will never forget. On our free day to explorer the city, my family decided to take the metro to travel that day.  I must admit that my father was at fault by having a fanny pack, but the event was made worst by the fact that in the process of this team of three (one father "cornering" my father, one small son doing the dirty work, and the other son being the look out) I knew what was happening. I repeatedly tried to call the attention to my father of what was going on, but a pack train is not the best place to let him know that the guy behind him is part of a crew doing crime on him.  The good news was that they only got the equivalent of a couple of dollars (my father covered the big bucks with a bulky camera that was stocked side ways in the pack).  The bad news is that even after more than 10 years, my father has not and will not return to France.  I am getting ready for a trip to Italy in May, and I am making sure that my valuables are protected with the use of Clever Travel Companion Tshirt."


"Years ago, when in a public library, I had the sensation that someone was near me. I had hung my shoulder bag over the back of my chair, and I was leaning forward looking at a book. I turned, and a young man had my purse strap in his hand. He exclaimed “I’m sorry!” and ran. So I escaped disaster.  But I learned a good lesson, and since then have been much more cautious; now I loop the strap of my shoulder bag over my knee when sitting.  And when I went to Italy, I bought and carried a PacSafe bag, to guard against pickpocketers."


"My husband and I were in Cancun, Mexico celebrating our 2nd Anniversary when we decided to take a taxi cab to a local market to do some shopping. We love supporting local communities whenever we travel vs. buying something at the resort/hotel. We were looking for a nice Sombrero that I could wear while in Mexico and I also thought it would be a nice souvenir to take home. I didn't want a Sombrero that was huge but I needed one that would give me some shade so the locals were trying to help us find the perfect Sombrero for me. My husband and I went to several shops in the market and we finally found what I was looking for. I was so excited! Well, my husband reached for his wallet and  it was gone. In his wallet he had his social security card, driver's license,debit card and about $150 in cash. All of my money was at the resort so I didn't know how we were going to get back to our hotel.The locals were trying to help him find his wallet BUT of course that was a lost cause.My husband was so mad because he typically wears a travel pouch around his neck wherever we go when we are out of country BUT this time he didn't wear it to the market. He was so tired of wearing the pouch around his neck. The string on our pouch is long enough where he could tuck the pouch down his pants but he decided to leave it at the resort. We were truly upset and couldn't believe this happened on our Anniversary trip but we were so grateful that our passports were still at the resort. We at least knew that we could get back to the USA! We were also glad that our resort was all-inclusive so we could eat,lol! It surely would have even better if we had "Pickpocket Proof Clothing"!"

"I have lived in 8 countries, mainly Latin American countries, and I have always been very cautious about pickpocketers.  I have two stories:  1)  While living in Rome, Italy I constantly watch out for the gypsies and those that looked up to no good.  But the one that almost got me was a regular, late 50's Italian mama who tried to slip her hand into my bag on the subway.  Fortunately I could see her reflection in the windows and was able to thwart her dastardly deed.  But I have to say, she was one that I never even gave a second thought to worrying about.  No more will I make that mistake.  When living in Caracas, Venezuela, a yearly Embassy event was held at the Poliedro in Caracas.  All the foreign embassies came to gether for a big event.  The Embassies sold products from their countries to the locals.  Well, I was busy with my friends sampling the sangria from Spain and cheese from the Swiss when a grossly obese, squatty little Venezuelan mamasita deliberately ran into me, hooked her arm through my purse and tried to make off with it.  I tugged it hard and got it away from her.  The woman with me started yelling at her and threw her Sangria on her.  The lady ran off and got some friends.  All of a sudden this hand reached out of the crowd and grabbed me by my hair and started pulling me across the floor.  My so called "friend" ran off and while I'm being dragged across this coliseum, clutching my purse to my chest and screaching at the crowd that is encircling this spectacle "Does anyone speak English."  Finally, someone says they do, the woman that was dragging me by the hair, let go, I got off the floor and tried to talk my way out of this situation.  In the meantime, the woman's friends were busy pickpocket those in the crowd.  My friend who had ran off got the U.S. Marine guards, came back and I was escorted back to the American Embassy.  I had only been in the country two weeks and was not anxious to stay; however, I did.......and things got even crazier.  But I won, I never was a victim of pickpocketing!  And to my so-called friend, she could have yelled out she was going to get the guards instead of letting me feel like I was totallly abandoned."

"My husband and I were in Lisbon and got an infamous trolley that was mentioned in our guidebook.  I sat down and was reading the sign about watching for pickpockets while he was trying to figure out the ticket system.  At the next stop people got off and a woman walked by my husband and said, "Did they get your wallet?  They had their hands all over you!"  Sure enough, it was gone.  We hopped off the trolley but no one was in sight, so was the thief one of the guys around him or the woman who warned him?  At our next tourist place I put ALL the cash we had left in my shoe and walked around that way for the rest of the day.  Fortunately our ATM card still worked (Password!) and we always carry different extra credit cards, but we spent the night on the hotel phone trying to cancel credit cards.  NOT fun!  It was worse when we got home and had to replace his driver's license, etc."




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