The Clever Travel Companion Updates

Hero Coffee Shop Owner Tackles Pickpocket! August 23 2017, 0 Comments

This story originally appeared in WRIC Virginia local news and is an inspirational example of an everyday hero. The owner of a coffee shop acted without thought for himself when a customer screamed that her purse had just been stolen. He charged after the assailants, eventually catching up to them and retrieving the customers valuables - I think we can all agree, every coffee shop needs an owner like this! It's worth remembering though, not all victims of theft are lucky enough to have a hero on hand to help out, so take care to ensure you don't put yourself in a position of danger.

 

 

Co-owner Walter Bordeaux said it was a good day at The Coffee Tree on Colonial Avenue: “Everything was going great. We had plenty of customers,” he said.
A customer was seated outside, not far from where Bordeaux stood, when there was a commotion: “The customer runs around the corner here and screams, ‘They stole my purse!’ As soon as they said that, without any hesitation, I just took off running.”

Surveillance video shows several young people running down the street. Bordeaux eventually caught up with some of the group and asked a question, he said. “‘Why are you doing this to your community? You know? Because I want to be a part of this community. Why are you doing this?’” At that point, someone dropped the purse and Bordeaux returned it to the customer, he said.
“I’m glad nothing escalated. I’m glad they were just kids. I’m glad they didn’t put up a fight and I hope they see the error of their ways,” Bordeaux said.

He and co-owner Dee Stewart took over the shop two months ago. It was a dream for them. Bordeaux said wants the community to know he supports them — and needs their support, too. “They were good kids. They just made a mistake, and I hope that they learn from that mistake, but I just want to let everybody know, we do support our community.” Police said detectives are investigating.

For information and tips on how to stay safe and out of harms way, check out our travel safety tips guide or better yet, pick up some pickpocket proof travel gear and keep your valuables to yourself at all times.

 


The Eiffel Tower... Pickpocket heaven? July 13 2017, 0 Comments

Eiffel Tower Police 

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the sites that is probably on every single person's bucket list, at least every single avid traveler's. It's an engineering marvel and an iconic tower, representing France and known by all around the world. Something people perhaps don't quite know however is the plague of pickpockets that have used The Eiffel Tower as their area of operations for years now. They're very aware of the amount of valuable tourists that flock to the modern marvel at all times of the year, they're aware of their valuables and they're aware of how to dispossess them of such valuables, in fact they have made a very wealthy living out of it, with some reports suggesting they earn around $4000 USD per DAY off of stolen goods.

Security forces have had exceptional difficulty in trying to control the situation and even CLOSED the tourist attraction to the public back in 2015 as the situation spiraled out of control and staff staged a walkout due to abuse from the pickpocket gangs. These organized gangs use sophisticated techniques to ensure their bounty continues, like dressing up as tourists themselves and buying tickets to enter the attraction, rather than waiting on the outside. They also employ tactics like taking selfies or asking tourists to take part in fake petitions and ever targeting the public transport routes on the way to the attraction. It's not just pickpocketing that is the problem too, violent crime has become a worrying symptom of these gangs having been able to operate for so long. After all, their thievery is worth hundreds of thousands of Euros per year, which is then sent out of the country, often to the gangs home countries of Romania or Bulgaria.

75% of visitors to the Eiffel Tower are foreign tourists, that's a staggering 7 million people per year, which makes it the most visited, paid monument in the world and its growing year on year. This recent TripAdvisor review comes from someone who suggests the problem of pickpockets is not abating, despite additional security measures and several big arrests. 

Naturally we would never suggest that you don't visit one of the worlds most famous monuments due to some silly thieves, you absolutely must include it in your bucket list of things to do. But be wary of course, try to outsmart the pickpockets rather than the other way around. Be on your guard, if you're approached by someone you don't know, keep your hands on your valuables - or even better, pick up some Clever Travel Companion gear. Outsmarting the rabble of pickpockets was precisely what it was designed for!

 

 

 


How to stay safe on your honeymoon May 18 2017, 0 Comments

There’s no doubt that your honeymoon should be a happy, care-free holiday – your first with your new wife or husband and a chance to start planning the rest of your lives together.

However, it’s very easy to lose your sense of awareness at a time of such great joy. You’ll no doubt be focused on all those once-in-a-lifetime rituals that newlyweds must share together; but it’s important that you don’t lose sight of the fact that dangers can lurk around every corner – even on your honeymoon!

With that in mind, here are five ways to keep each other safe on honeymoon overseas:

1. Use credit cards to pay for as much as you can

If you own a credit card it’s a very good idea to utilize this on your travels. Firstly, it sure beats the risk of carrying cash around with you even if done so safely and secondly, you tend to get greater protection with credit card purchases. By all means carry around enough cash to pay for tips, but a credit card with minimal or zero travel fees certainly keeps your honeymoon spending money safer.

2. Create duplicate photocopies of your passports

It’s fine not to carry around your actual passport when you’re out on honeymoon
excursions. Some countries require you to carry your passport at all times, but a photocopy duplicate will suffice, allowing you to keep your genuine passport stored away safely in your room’s safe.

3. Avail yourselves of the nearest embassy

It can certainly pay to take note of the closest embassy to your holiday accommodation in the event you do lose your passport on your honeymoon. Unfortunately, a drivers’ license just won’t cut the mustard in most foreign countries, so it’s vital that you guard your passport carefully and have the address of your closest embassy to hand as a Plan B.

4. Wear clothing appropriate to your activity and environment

Fortunately, there is clothing available that’s capable of keeping your valuables safe, no matter where you go and whatever you do on your honeymoon. Our cotton boxer briefs and underpants have secret pockets, as do our brand new unisex hoodies that offer style and practicality in one neat package.

5. Research your accommodation well in advance

The last thing you want is to roll up at your honeymoon destination with sense of doom and regret, arriving in a potentially dangerous part of town. Your honeymoon is (hopefully!) a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you shouldn’t want to take anything to chance. Subsequently we highly recommend that you research your potential accommodation thoroughly in advance of any bookings. Sites like TripAdvisor will provide genuine feedback from previous guests to paint a true picture of what it’s like to stay there.

6. Share your itinerary

It’s also a good idea to let your family or close friends know where you’re actually going. A run-down of your itinerary, including flights, accommodation and any excursions you’ve booked will enable loved ones to get in contact if necessary.

You can never be too careful on your holidays and your honeymoon is one trip you shouldn’t take lightly. Protect yourselves and take sensible precautions and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy every minute away together!