Getting Robbed in Italy

Dec 30th, 2012, 03:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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If you stuff a money belt wit money, CCs, passport etc , what kind of outfit do you have to wear ( women )?

A big shirt over a sweatpants?
danon is offline  
Dec 30th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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I use both a moneybelt and a "neckpouch" AND a small handbag. I put the passport in the neckpouch because the one time I had it in the moneybelt it got slightly folded. I put one debit card in the moneybelt and one in the neckpouch. Half the large bills in each. That way, if I get robbed by someone with a weapon I can turn over one and hopefully the robber will be satisfied.

I also keep some smaller bills in the handbag and coins in a pocket. That way I can do small purchases without having to go into the monebelt or neckpouch. I never put anything larger than a 20-Euro bill in an easily accessible place. That works for me because I don't do much big shopping.

If I run out of easily accessible money during the day I find a toilet and take some money out of the neckpouch where no one can see what I'm doing.

Maybe I'm too paranoid, but it makes me feel safer. If I don't have to worry about thieves all the time I can enjoy myself while sightseeing.

I have noticed it's much easier to hide the moneybelt and neckpouch when it's not so hot. Some t-shirts and blouses are almost see-through, which could be a problem.

And thives can be anywhere. Really. Pickpockets will target anyone. Bagsnatchers are more likely to go after people who can't run after them. Tourists are a good target because they are unlikely to know the language and probably don't have time to stay and attend any trial.
anyegr is offline  
Dec 30th, 2012, 03:40 PM
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Very funny, Danon. Stack a passport, a couple of credit cards, and a five or ten dollar bills and see how thick the "pile" is.
azzure is offline  
Dec 30th, 2012, 03:51 PM
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I still don't see how one can wear a nice fitting outfit with all that nylon and paper under it.
Especially when the temp. is 80 plus.
danon is offline  
Dec 30th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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Plus I wear the money belt with the pouch at the back, where it fits in the curve below my waist. I wouldn't use a neck pouch. It looks uncomfortable, and too obvious. I met a woman on my last trip who had both her neck pouch and her shoulder bag stolen outside the Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires. She thought the thief had cut the straps.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 30th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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I agree with everyone saying that you shouldn't dismiss a whole country due to one bad experience; personally I think you're being a bit dramatic.

That said it does pay to be super careful while travelling anywhere because in most places tourists do stand out even when they try to blend in and everyone knows tourists carry more valuables around than locals, out of necessity. I would just write it off as a bad experience and call it a lesson learned. I'd feel very sad for you indeed if you never visited Italy again because of this one incident.

About money belts; frankly I hated mine and I hardly ever wore it. I went to Europe in the summer and everywhere was scorchingly hot and that stupid money belt felt all hot and sticky all the time. It was a pain in the ass to access and it felt lumpy and uncomfortable under all my clothes, even though it was very thin. Also I couldn't wear dresses with it, and sun dresses were all I wanted to wear in that weather. Anyway, my point is that I'd like to add my vote to cross body bags, and add that one with a flap closure that goes over a zipper is even better; that's what I used and I feel that it really was a deterrent to anyone wanting to rifle through my purse. Also I kept my hand on my purse at all times, pretty much. I was REALLY vigilant and it paid off; I was all over Europe for almost 2 months and nothing was stolen.
ahiddenbird is offline  
Dec 30th, 2012, 08:01 PM
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I think that the advice from a security consultant who used to do some work for the financial institution I once worked for is also relevant here:

Your level of security is important, but it is always important to assess it in relation to all the other potential targets in town.
ie. if you don't appear to be the easy mark, chances are that the crooks will leave you alone and move on to who appears to be the easy and more lucrative target.

So stay vigilant; look as though you are on top of the game and be in control of your environment; try your best not to put yourself in an environment where you will be vulnerable; if you must wear jewellery, make it understated, or better yet, fakes that you'll be happy to hand over if someone happens to point a knife or worse in your direction down some dark alley late at night (and then ask yourself why you go to "edgy" places like that on holiday when you avoid them at home)!
bendigo is offline  
Dec 30th, 2012, 08:53 PM
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Who in goodness sake feels the need to assess their money belt during their outings, that is not the purpose of wearing one. It is DEEP STORAGE, for things you do not need in the day, so if in a dress what possible difference does it make.

I leave that stuff in hotel safe, but if you are one that feels the need to carry it , then do, but in your money belt. I carry a days worth of cash in my purse, and thats it. Its not the end of my holiday if i get 50-100 euros ripped off.
justineparis is offline  
Dec 30th, 2012, 09:32 PM
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Believe it or not I saw a man on Capri in October wearing his neck pouch on the OUTSIDE of his shirt.
Yup, just dangling there stuffed full, you could see the top of his passport and all. Talk about safety FAIL!
There was just a huge mob of people too, I would be very surprised if he made it through HIS trip without being robbed.
raincitygirl is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 01:23 AM
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Who in goodness sake feels the need to assess their money belt during their outings, >>

Me, for one. we obviously use it for different things - i see no point in wearing a money belt AND carrying a handbag with things in it that i don't want to lose. My passport I almost invariably leave in the hotel/room safe.

they are just different ways of doing things.
annhig is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 01:47 AM
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BTW, i have a dislike of carrying a handbag on holiday, mainly because it ends up as a repository for everything my family doesn't want to carry. if i haven't got it with me, I can't be asked to carry the guide book/water bottle/sun hat/sun glasses/left-over panino/apple etc. etc.

hence my [over?] use of the moneybelt.
annhig is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 02:00 AM
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My wife had her purse snatch out of our car as we were driving

Wow, that's pretty impressive - doing 100kmh down the Autostrada and someone opens the door, leans in and steals a purse. The thief should be in the circus

one man had his wallet stolen

Back pocket by any chance?

another couple the lady had her purse taken right off her shoulder bus a person on a motor scooter..

Which is why you are advised EVERYWHERE in the world not to hang bags off a shoulder but across the chest.

I'm sorry but everything you describe could and does happen in every major city in the world (except probably Tokyo). They could have happened in New York, London, Sydney, Paris, Quito, Miami...
alanRow is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 02:56 AM
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This is one of those postings which was bound to generate many comments. I wonder to what extent this was intentional.

It would have been helpful if the OP gave greater details including where these thefts occurred. Certain areas of Italy are worse than others but this applies to just about any country.

I have lived in Italy for over 30 years and have never been robbed but did once witness and stop a purse snatching inside a jeweller on Ponte Vecchio in Florence. I noticed that something was odd with one of the customers: he was dressed quite smartly in suit and tie. However, his shoes were in an appalling condition. Something did not seem right. Pretending to look at one of the display cases he leaned over a lady's bag and pulled out her purse. I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him to the ground. The police arrived and took him off. He was not Italian but Colombian.

To avoid being robbed one must be sensible in Italy just as much as any other country. This involves not having items on show - expensive jewellery, purses, wallets, passports and more recently iphones etc. This is especially true in high risk areas. Regarding theft from cars - keep the doors locked when travelling and if with the windows down keep valuable objects including bags out of sight. Frankly I believe that most thefts can been avoided if greater care is taken.

Regarding the issue of English the OP does not say where in Italy the thefts happened. The level of English speaking ability varies across the country. But perhaps the OP should reflect on his written English before questioning the ability of Italians to speak his.
nochblad is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 04:57 AM
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ann - yes, you are not using the money belt the way it's intended. If you have hotel safes you can chose to leave all the things that belong in the belt in the safe, except when traveling between hotels. But it is not for things you need during the day. Your other problems can be fixed by taking a smaller bag.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 05:22 AM
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AlanRow -

Well actually the motor scooter thing won;t happen in NYC - since we don;thave motor scooters. And if we did - they woudl just get stuck in traffic.

But your key points are correct - one must always take care of your belongings - no matter where you are. (A friend of mine had her purse stolen from a shopping cart as she was loading the grocery bags into the trunk of her car at a market in a very upscale suburb. One young men just grabbed it and ran for his friend's old car - which just sped away.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 05:25 AM
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Obviously I am the sort of person who felt the need to access (not assess?) my money belt while out and about, so to answer your question, me. And probably a lot of others too. I assure you we're not insane, we just used our money belts differently than you do, justine. I think you incredulity is a little excessive.

Anyway, even if I used my money belt only for "deep storage" as you call it, that doesn't eliminate the irritation factor when it comes to discomfort.
ahiddenbird is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 05:44 AM
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The incredulity is due to the fact that the whole point of a money belt is that no one knows you're wearing one.

The discomfort fades with time. When I get home from a long trip I feel undresed without my money belt.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 05:51 AM
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So much arguing about a money belt. Just wear a fanny pack in front under your stomach. With the right diet it can be almost impossible for a thief to get it open.
colduphere is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 05:58 AM
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cold when you say "under your stomach" what does that mean exactly? I'm not sure diagrams are going to help.
bilboburgler is offline  
Dec 31st, 2012, 06:01 AM
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It's ugly, bilboburgler.... And all a thief has to do is cut the strap.
thursdaysd is offline  

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