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paris metro pickpocket

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We just returned from a wonderful London/Paris 2 week family vacation on Saturday. The only problem was a very close call with a pickpocket entering a Paris Metro turnstile. I can't recall the exact location (I was rather nervous for a few hours), but I think it was at Pont Alma after the Sewer Tour. After the incident I recalled warnings about this set up in NY subways a few years ago.
Upon entering the turnstile at the metro entrance, the thief (40 year old male,normal attire)came behind me and put his leg in the turnstile causing me to get stuck. I don't know if this would work with a larger person, but I am fairly small so it might have been an easy setup.
When the turnstile would not move, I unknowingly turned around to see why I was stuck. That is when the thief apparently went into my zippered purse, which I carried infront of me as instructed. Since I turned around, the purse was easy access for him, and I was flustered and not paying attention as I was stuck in a turnstile. My family had already gotten through. Fortunately this was all in very clear view (eye level) of my 9 year old daughter who said " He took your wallet!" I then looked at the man and my ugly bright wallet was still in his hand. This all happened so quickly, but it seemed like slow motion. I reached out and took my wallet, and the man simply walked away. My wallet only contained one credit card, less than $20 and my divers license. I kept my main credit card and travelers' checks in my money belt.
I had to explain to my 9 and 11 year old kids that these are professional thieves with setups that are intended to trick people. I explained how we were prepared with travellers checks, money belts, spare credit cards, copies of creditcard/passports #s incase we did "loose" anything. Having a brightly colored wallet also helped because it was very obvious to my daughter that the wallet was taken and when I looked at the man I could not miss the wallet.
The rest of the vacation the wallet was placed at the very bottom of my purse, covered with lots of junk and only contained about $20. Luckily this occurred on the the last day of our five day metro pass. We only needed to ride the metro a few more times. In London we were very happy the tube did not have turnstiles and I am sure the next trip in Paris will involve much less use of the metro.

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