iPhone stolen in Paris

Old Aug 29th, 2012, 11:03 PM
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This thread served an excellent purpose. The OP was absolutely fine. Roadywarrior, (the Paris isn't safe for Americans) however, was eye rollworthy...which is what many posters responded too.

I am sorry for those who have had to deal with the issues of pickpockets etc. It really doesn't matter how savvy you are. Much of it has to do with luck. It also can happen anywhere. We have lived in several pickpocket paradises (Budapest, Prague, PT) and my DH has been targetted, losing his whole computer bag. It happens...and it happens to locals as well as tourists.

It is just part of the landscape of the human experience and beyond taking basic precautions, there isn't much to do about it.
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Old Aug 30th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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and my DH has been targetted, losing his whole computer bag. It happens...and it happens to locals as well as tourists.>

This is why I get so upset when someone dares blame the victim!
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Old Sep 1st, 2012, 05:21 AM
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Always loop the phone/camera strap around your wrist. I do that even here in Oz. I was in Paris about 2 weeks ago but didn't go to Starbucks or MacDonalds. Was approached by gold ring scammers, one outside Musee D'Orsay the other Rue De Rivoli. I used a small handbag slung across my body and was extra careful in the metro, was travelling solo.
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Old Sep 1st, 2012, 07:40 AM
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One of the good things about traveling in March was that I almost always wore a rain coat and my cross-body bag under it. Of course, I looked like I was deformed--maybe that was why the bad folks ignored us.

Maur2010, I too am sorry this happened to you and thank you for warning others.
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Old Sep 1st, 2012, 07:51 AM
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I just can’t understand in these day and ages how people can still fall victim to such an "amateur" scam. If two people came running at me in that manner, a scam would be the first thing that came to my mind and my hands would automatically grab/hold/touch anything that i had out in the open of value. My Wife and i had a similar thing happen to us when we were walking in the tunnel under the street to walk to the coliseum. These gypsie ladies were trying to get us to hold their babies for them. Kept walking and automatically made myself aware of everything that was going on around.
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Old Sep 1st, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Sometimes we forget and also if one is vigilant all the time, it is no longer a holiday. With the ring scam when it first happened I just waved her off thinking good luck to you if you found a gold ring. I had just enjoyed the Musee D'Orsay and was in a sublime state and scams were furthest from my mind!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 07:20 AM
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<if one is vigilant all the time, it is no longer a holiday>

Sorry but I strongly disagree. You can be smart about your personal belonging and still have plenty of fun on your trip.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 08:42 AM
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<Sorry but I strongly disagree. You can be smart about your personal belonging and still have plenty of fun on your trip.>

I couldn’t agree more with SUZE! Having your head in the clouds and not being aware of your surroundings is exactly how petty crimes happen! Some would say i travel with a money belt and a SMALL amount of paranoia. I say i travel smart and i NEVER miss out on memorable moments.........or my valuables.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 10:09 AM
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I had read this post about 50 entries ago, and then a few days ago, found the two below entries in our local neighborhood Minnepolis journal, that contains a crime report:

- KINGFIELD

Driftwood Bar
Aug. 14, 9:50 p.m.

A man and woman were sitting on the outdoor patio of the bar when an unknown person ran by and grabbed the man’s cell phone from the table.

- LOWRY HILL EAST

Cowboy Slim’s
Aug. 19, early evening

A woman brought her phone with her into the restroom. When she went to sit down on the patio, she realized she had left the phone in the bathroom. She looked for it, but could not find it. After leaving the restaurant, she checked her Facebook page and saw that someone had accessed it and posted a rude message, confirming her suspicion that the phone was stolen.

Apparently this warning needs to be published in other areas of Fodors as well...
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Definitely don't blame the victim. Even with vigilance, bad things can happen. I'm just glad no one was physically hurt, although I understand the emotional damage. It happened to us: in a country that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent (could have been anywhere), someone stole our 2 kids' backpacks out of a locked (of course) car trunk, and the lucky thief acquired some children's toys and summer reading. Unfortunately for my kids, he also acquired their treasured stuffed animals. Talk about traumatized! Yes, in the long run, parents know that wars, plagues and violence are a lot worse, but in the minds of two little children, this was about the worst thing in the world that could happen to them. Nothing like destroyed innocence. (And what do you think the police were going to do about this? We did file a report, but . . . ) Once the initial shock was over and some days had passed, we were able to talk to them and help them try to understand. That is what the OP will have to do, and hopefully one day they and their daughter will be able to return to Paris and truly enjoy the city of light.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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To PalenQ
>>>Bogus charge to make across the board - my friend whose i-phone was stolen inside a McDonalds was not careless - he was sitting there and all of a sudden two younger Romani if you have it gals came up to him all of a sudden and thrust a sheet of paper in front of him to read - probably the deaf mute scam - in a flash the other gal took the phone.
This was not absent-minded nor careless IMO and to characterize it as that is in my opinion rubbish.<<<

Like anyone else you are entitled to your opinion. I will not even term it as rubbish as you do the opinions that you oppose. Obviously your friend was not holding his phone but allowed it to sit on the table unattended. In Paris tourist spots targeted by gypsies that constitutes carelessness. You and your friend need to do some research concerning foreign travel precautions and Paris in particular. Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore. PS: the term is not Romani either it is Roma.
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Old Sep 6th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Sue_xx_yy--YOU GOT IT IN ONE! I was not a victim of any theft. Nothing was stolen from me. I'm a pretty tough city girl, and I refused to fall for the verbal attack. I reacted FAST.

Again, I suspect my husband would have been the actual pickpocketing victim--and again, he was not.

But we had NEVER ever had anything happen this way in Paris. We blend in, we walk fast, we know where we're going. This was our very first loss of a feeling of personal safety in Paris.

I can't emphasize enough--We had never seen this aggressive action in Paris before. We have gone there at least once a year since 1998 and sometimes four times a year.

This has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RING SCAM. That stuff is totally non-aggressive, and it's not in the ballpark. Scams are passive cons that rely on a sense of greed to work. Nobody even bothers to finish a sentence with us--they just know we're not marks.

What happened was a far more aggressive "mob" thing. As PalenQ referenced, it's happening to locals. That's why the French native was so upset when he came past us. It's not the Paris he knew either, and when he said more or less he was going to notify the police across the bridge, he said it in French. As I've related, the shopowners my daughter knew in the 7th were stunned by this new trend.

And I am going to repeat this: if you are in Starbucks with free WiFi, you are going to be on your computer working. If a mob flies in surrounds you and takes your computer, how in the heck is that YOUR fault if you have both hands on it? Get REAL.

And we are certainly returning to Paris this Thanksgiving. I'm not afraid. I'm just going to start putting a brick at the bottom of my purse--and I'm practicing. And by the way, I'm tall and uh, meaty--and they're AWFULLY skinny.
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Old Sep 6th, 2012, 03:10 PM
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Exactly AlessandraZoe, my friend who had the theft was no newbie either, but a full time resident for three years.

The swarm and grab scenario is something entirely different.

Some of our "blame the victim" posters have been to Paris once (if I am not mistaken, suze?) and don't travel with their iPod/Phones at all.
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Old Sep 6th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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I don't see how you can call it "blaming the victim" to reiterate that people should keep hold of their belongings. Not leave phones, purses, laptops laying on a restaurant table, on the seat of a train, beside them on a park bench, whatever. That is carelessness.

And no I don't travel with electronics myself. And yes I have been to Paris. But I'm not sure why that effects this dicussion or my comments.
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Old Sep 6th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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I don't know....I felt safe - all alone - in and out of Starbucks...could it not happen anywhere in the world? Paris seems to get bad press now and then.
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Old Sep 6th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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BTW - I am so sorry this happened to you. What an awful experience!
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Old Sep 7th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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Suze--I'm thinking that unless the victim is totally nude--sans purse, backpack, coat, pockets, electronics--there is just NO way you are going to accept that something bad has happened to my/our perfect Paris world that has NOTHING to do with the person or institutions that were attacked. Crime is crime. Period.

MLGB--YES.

Kelsey22--This has nothing to do with bad press--and I do appreciate your willingness to be sympathetic. I'm a Paris diehard fanatic who goes to sleep dreaming about my next meal there. In fact, I have reliably tsk-tsked people who talk about "don't ride the Metro" or "Paris taxi drivers will drive you out of the way" etc. To me, all that is utter nonsense.

Also in fact, Paris actually has gotten little bad press from a journalistic viewpoint; Madrid and Rome Metros have gotten the bad press. Mob action, particularly around entering Metro trains, has been very common in those two cities and has been relatively rare in Paris. Pickpocketing is well known on the RER B in from CDG (jetlag=unattentive traveler) and near the Eiffel Tower RER/Metro areas (same stuff). Awhile back, I believe I read about mob action near the Louvre stop, but I've certainly never witnessed it in at least once-a-year trips since 1998.

Nevertheless, no matter how upset I am about the fact that rumors have now became truth for me, I cannot repeat enough--I was not robbed and my husband was not robbed, probably because we are super street smart. People should be on the look-out.

I have NO bruises; THEY have no bruises. Yet.

And I'm starting my restaurant reservations for Thanksgiving as we speak. So anyone who uses this incident as an excuse NOT to go to Paris is even more stupid than the persons who blame victims.
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Old Sep 7th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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@LarryJ, PalenQ is correct in referring to them as Romani.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people
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Old Sep 7th, 2012, 04:06 PM
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Just for the record...not a "willingness" - I am sympathetic. It is awful to feel violated at any time, vacation or at home.
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Old Sep 8th, 2012, 09:48 AM
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To cigalechanta

The term Romani refers to the entire ethnic group known as gypsies. Those from eastern Europe are subdivided into a group termed Roma. Technically and broadly speaking Romani is correct but those that you see in Paris are more precisely termed Roma.

Guess I escaped that one. I have still only ever made one mistake.
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