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Trip Report Pick pocketed in Rome!

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So it happened to DH - his wallet was swiped from a front pocket on his shorts while on the Rome Metro on Sunday afternoon (two days before we headed home). We were getting on at the Ottaviana stop and a couple of guys got on and stood blocking most of the doorway (in the annoying, "not being courteous to other people around them" manner, which we seemed to experience a lot of on our vacation!) - so we and many others, pushed past them to get on and then they got off before the metro pulled away from the station, with DH's wallet! A stop or two later, DH felt around for his wallet and couldn't find it. At first, he thought he left it at the last gelato stop and then thought maybe at the Metro station where he bought the metro tickets - and then realized the two guys took it when I asked where he put the metro tickets after we used them to get into the metro (in his wallet!).

In all of our traveling, this has never happened to us - and we are generally very careful but we made several mistakes, starting with complacency (MISTAKE!) and "it's never happened, so it won't happen" (MISTAKE!)! Usually DH switches from his big fat wallet to a smaller travel wallet but hasn't on our last few trips (MISTAKE!) - who knows why. For some reason, he was carrying his wallet in an outside front pocket on some (cargo-type) shorts - the top of the pocket had a little strip of velcro (MISTAKE!) - and since it was the big fat wallet, it was obvious to anyone looking for it! As he said, these guys were good but I think he left himself pretty vulnerable.

I use a very small wallet and left mine back at the apartment in the safe - I rarely carry mine with me if I am with DH - no sense in both of us risking losing them. Before we left on our trip, we went through and divvied up our credit and ATM cards to make sure we each had unique cards. It was then that I realized I had an expired AmEx card - and not enough time to order a new one!. So with us, we had one credit card in common and each had a unique ATM card - plus DH had a second personal credit card (not sure why he had his and I didn't have mine), an AmEx and a business credit card. MISTAKES!

So that meant four credit cards and one ATM card to cancel. We were able to cancel/stop/notify two credit cards immediately; the theives were able to charge $5000 on his business credit card at a Timberland store before we could call the company (how do you accumulate that much in merchandise in such a short time!) and they tried to charge another $6000 at the same store on one of the personal cards but their fraud department denied it. It was frustrating trying to call all the card companies as quickly as possible - especially as we had one international cellphone and we were trying to figure out replacement options (basically cards wouldn't show up until after we left for home; alternative was they could give us the new numbers but good luck using those anywhere!) and any travel assist options (basically not much aside from wiring us our own money which we could access via my ATM card). It would have been so helpful to have copies of the front and backs of our cards (MISTAKE!) - trying to look up the contact info using the spotty internet service at the apartment was frustrating!

While we were on the metro ride home, a very nice British lady came up to me after overhearing what had happened and asked if we had enough money to make it back to our hotel. (Yes, as long as we weren't caught without our metro tickets!)

All in all, a PITA experience - but no one was hurt, just a bit rattled. DH was pretty hard on himself, blaming himself for letting it happen. But at least it wasn't our passports, and at least I had an ATM so we could get some cash to see us through for the last two days. And fortunately we had paid upfront for the apartment so we didn't have a bill to settle when we left.

We did file a police report at the local carabinierie office, which wasn't too involved.

So I hope everyone learns from our mistakes! I know that we will! (I will write a separate trip report for our actual trip - I didn't want to include all of this in that trip report.)

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