iPhone stolen in Paris

Old Aug 27th, 2012, 12:45 PM
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Thank you PalenQ for your support. I fully expected an onslaught of attacks on me and my daughter for our "carelessness" so the fact that indeed happened does not surprise me. Some people can be mean and rude.
But as a parent, if I were traveling to Paris, I would want to know. And I think that sharing information about experiences, both good and bad, is what this forum is all about.
What surprised me the most about this trip is that, after dealing with the police, it seemed the police in France really could care less. At least I know, now, not to let my daughter come to Paris on her own (as an exchange student or after high school) because I am not confident if she were to be assaulted again, that anything would be taken seriously.
For those of you who have traveled and never had anything bad happen to you or your children, that is good. I am glad, but it is my obligation to let families with children know that the security from the police was not very good in our case.
It is not unreasonable to expect to have it taken more seriously when a child is assaulted and then robbed.
As far as the Starbucks in which it happened, they were supposed to take a report. If Starbucks or McDonalds or the Gap, or any other store with a big profit margin and big name, knows their customers are being assaulted inside their stores, they too have an obligation to do something. Just posting signs warning people is not sufficient in my opinion.
To say, (like some of these posters here) "you were warned" or "don't come back" demonstrates the common belief that it is the victim who is to blame or that visitors who have valid complaint/concerns aren't welcome. But those statements are designed to deflect and designed to absolve the police and businesses from their obligation to protect their visitors/customers.
I got back on this forum today because I did complain to corporate and I wanted to follow up with how Starbucks responded.
I suggested that if their international stores fail to align themselves with the business practices that is expected of all Starbucks, then they should remove their name from the cafe. They are investigating the incident because, as I suspected, their store manager was supposed to take a report of the incident. The corporate office also was surprised that the staff did not take a report. They said that since the incident took place within their store, with cameras inside and out, more should have been done after the assault and robbery. I want to give out a kudos to the corporate office for taking the time to follow up on this and it has changed my opinion of Starbucks and how serious they are about their safety of their customers while inside their store. In fact we noticed some of the grocery stores and other shops had a security person, so at a maximum Starbucks can have a security guard at the door or at a minimum retrain the staff about reports and have them be more vigilant about the safety of customers.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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I'm happy to hear Starbucks got back to you positively.

my desf mute spoke when asking me to sign.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 01:50 PM
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Roady, as others have said this has nothing to do with being clueless, or even being at Starbucks.

A friend who was living in Paris several years ago had hers snatched from a sidewalk cafe table. Apparently not much has changed!
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Roady, having had your child assaulted changes the way you look at everything. If you have not had issues with this previously, you now feel vulnerable and possibly feel that, if this horrible thing could happen, what else will happen. It may take you and your family some time to trust again. Best of luck.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 04:51 PM
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We just returned from Paris. My 15 year old daughter also had her IPhone forcefully removed from front pocket by a pack of gypsy teens covering her face with paper right outside of St Chappelle. Luckily we spotted the phone in the pack. My son and I grabbed the one who was holding the phone and got it back.

Scams are a really big problem in Paris. On a trip to Musee Orsay the next day, we got approached by the Gold Ring scam 4 times. We knew better and just laughed it off. One time at the ATM, a gypsy girl appeared out of nowhere while I was typing my PIN number. I am not sure what she was trying to do, but we had to forcefully push her away. Another tried to sell us used Metro tickets. Really a shame.

I disagree with STCirq about injuries. I would guess a 15 year old child can be psychologially injured by such an attack for a long time. At her age, her phone is one of her prized possessions.

I hope Paris authorities come up with a way to solve this problem. I am not sure why they are turning the other way. Maybe they see it as an American phone, so who cares. Paris's reputation is really getting harmed. Loved the city otherwise. BTW. I didn't experience scams at all in Rome the next week.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 06:11 PM
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My friend's daughter had her phone stolen out of her hand by a group of teens while entering her dorm at University of Alabama last year. This can happen anywhere.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 07:34 PM
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In Alabama,, really. I thought the States was crime free.

Roady, when your kids turn 18 you don't really have to right to refuse to let them do things like enroll in exchange programs. I guess you hold the purse strings though.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 08:28 PM
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<<I disagree with STCirq about injuries. I would guess a 15 year old child can be psychologially injured by such an attack for a long time. At her age, her phone is one of her prized possessions. >>

Loss of a cellphone is a psychological injury that could last for a long time?

Only in America. Please do stay away from Europe. It's bound to cause you deep psychological injuries you may spend a lifetime recovering from.

Our 22-year-old neighbor had a cell phone snatched off him right here in our DC neighborhood.Happens all the time, and no one needs counseling or a suggestion to stay away from DC. You walk around with junk that costs a small fortune and is of tremendous appeal to thiefs and you'll be targeted. You walk around with it and don't take any precautions, you're even more of a target. Deal with it or stay home.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 09:15 PM
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Yeah iPods and iPhones have caused muggings in NY.

Just as its not a good idea to be in certain places with a Rolex.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 09:15 PM
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Some of you are very cold and judgmental. The difference is in Alabama or DC, if your minor child is assaulted and robbed, the police generally take it seriously.
Comments like, "Stay away, then" do beautiful Paris no favors. This is a Fodor's travel forum designed to share travel experiences. Paris police need to do more about the crime and take reports of assault more seriously. And people like me need to share their experience so that others know the truth.
Today, we spoke with a local. Even she said the Paris she knows today is not the same anymore because of the crime. And she grew up there.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 09:33 PM
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My friend of the stolen iPhone had been living there for four years. She finally got fed up with the attitudes of the bureaucracy, Parisians in general, & Gypsies (yes multiple attempts of the same scams in the space of hours). The theft was pretty much the last straw. She's back now.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 10:15 PM
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No , I am not cold, I would be upset if my child was assalted too, and I think a person, child or not , could be very shaken, but the OP annoyed me with her blanket statements about a city,, as I said, I KNOW crime happens everywhere, and my example was as bad as it can get, and yet I realize its not the city or the police that can be blamed for the acts of a few nuts.
Some may say well its not a few,, but sorry, I took my bf to Paris just this past summer, and I warned him all about pickpockets, gypsies, scams , etc etc, and after a few days he started laughing at me becuase we never got to see any of the things I had warned him about,, just one poor begger woman on the stairs to the bathroom in front of Notre Dame. So sorry, Paris is not a hotbed of violent crime and totally lawless.. its just not. I manage solo there, and I would be much more afraid in dozens of American cities .
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 10:17 PM
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Ps .. this story has really morphed in the violence factor too, the girl was not actually physically assaulted, she had papers shoved at her( to hide their hands stealing) and was yelled at,, upsetting, YES , ABSOLUTELY, but she was not physically assaulted..
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 10:33 PM
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Great sympathy for the OP, Roady and the others here. Leaving a possession unattended is one thing, but being assaulted and robbed is another entirely. If it'd been my 14 or 15 year old daughter assaulted and robbed, I could only hope that I'd be able to exercise sufficient restraint in the event that I was to apprehend the low-life responsible.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 10:40 PM
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And that's why I travel with my dogs!
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 02:09 AM
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Rowdy--I was not trying to be cold or judgmental. I was just trying to explain that this is happening everywhere. You are right that the Tuscaloosa police did respond, but how important is that in actuality? At most the police get her phone back, but she has been through a scary experience regardless.

It would be a shame to not visit a fantastic city ever again because of one bad experience. Just do what I do and carry a crummy phone that no one would ever want to steal.
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 06:15 AM
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Just to amuse I dropped this thread into $illyCoffee corporate in Paris to see if they have a comment. So far no response but if anyone ever gets back to me I'll let you know.
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 06:18 AM
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I didn't bother to send it to Paris Police as I'm bored of hearing Je suis desolee... which means a great deal less than you would think and in anglosaxon too.
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 08:26 AM
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You did us all a great service by posting this thread Maur, and others who responded with their own experiences. For anyone scoffing at the prevalence and/or insinuating it is somehow the victim's fault, please read this NY Times article. Smart phones have at changed crime in Paris, startlingly so. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/wo...e/09paris.html

I'll have my iPhone with me as it does contain all important information I may need while traveling....UNLIKE a cheap substitute bought just for a trip. All pertinent info about me, (health, meds, contacts in case of emergency) is found in the ICE app. All travel related info...flights, train and hotel reservations is stored in an e-mail file as a back up to hard copies. All credit card numbers (accounts and phone #s), insurance info, fund account #s, bank acc't #s, passwords etc are stored in a password protected app. The phone will also be password protected as added security while in Paris. It can be locked and wiped clean remotely, protecting critical information. I use it as my camera, but after reading the above, then googling "iPhone theft in Paris", I won't. It will still go with me to Paris, but will be secured in the hotel safe while we are out and about. Too bad. Rather than jump all over those who posted experiences, and insinuating that they are inexperienced travelers, I would suggest doing your own Internet search on the problem. It's an eye opener! I even learned a new French phrase, "poings americains". Terrific. Thanks again for the heads up!
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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I can't imagine leaving an iPhone on a table even for a second in a restaurant anywhere touristy really. I know I have mine in my hand or back in a zippered pocket of my purse even here at home.

We did see gypsies in the Ponte Neouf as well as Notre Dame and in front of the Louvre. They were all doing that wave a paper in front of your face thing. My husband decided the best thing to do was to yell at them in Klingon if they approached, and he was right! They backed off really quickly, probably thinking he was crazy. At one point, though, I was on one side of the street with the kids and he was on the other and three of them started circling me. Very creepy, I felt like a wounded dolphin in the ocean surrounded by sharks. I did have to yell at them and then they did back off, and that was the worst we experienced. I saw a few French men and shopkeepers yelling at them too, so it's not true that the Parisians turn their back on the problem.
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