iPhone stolen in Paris

Old Sep 11th, 2012, 11:26 PM
  #141  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Europenewbie, they absolutely never approached us, I saw a few, but I swear they never came near us, I tried to point them out to bf, but he almost thought I was being paranoid, lol They do not approach me for several reasons, first, I try not to stand anywhere with mouth agape, (its easy for me as a repeat visitor) , I walk with purpose( not the "stroll") , I do not stop or slow down for anyone, and after many many trips to Paris I confess to an "eat sh*t and die " facial expression and body language.. sounds harsh, but its the "big city-leave me alone" face.

Its funny some people say they are approached numerous times, others say never, I don't really know why some luck out and others seem to be magnents .
justineparis is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2012, 11:26 PM
  #142  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Europenewbie, they absolutely never approached us, I saw a few, but I swear they never came near us, I tried to point them out to bf, but he almost thought I was being paranoid, lol They do not approach me for several reasons, first, I try not to stand anywhere with mouth agape, (its easy for me as a repeat visitor) , I walk with purpose( not the "stroll") , I do not stop or slow down for anyone, and after many many trips to Paris I confess to an "eat sh*t and die " facial expression and body language.. sounds harsh, but its the "big city-leave me alone" face.

Its funny some people say they are approached numerous times, others say never, I don't really know why some luck out and others seem to be magnents .
justineparis is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2012, 11:26 PM
  #143  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Europenewbie, they absolutely never approached us, I saw a few, but I swear they never came near us, I tried to point them out to bf, but he almost thought I was being paranoid, lol They do not approach me for several reasons, first, I try not to stand anywhere with mouth agape, (its easy for me as a repeat visitor) , I walk with purpose( not the "stroll") , I do not stop or slow down for anyone, and after many many trips to Paris I confess to an "eat sh*t and die " facial expression and body language.. sounds harsh, but its the "big city-leave me alone" face.

Its funny some people say they are approached numerous times, others say never, I don't really know why some luck out and others seem to be magnents .
justineparis is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2012, 02:37 AM
  #144  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 833
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"I do not stop or slow down for anyone, and after many many trips to Paris I confess to an "eat sh*t and die " facial expression and body language.. sounds harsh, but its the "big city-leave me alone" face. "

There is much to be said for the "city face". I was never approached this August. I saw many of them around Opera Garnier and around the Louvre. I saw a few "ring" scams and twice I was approached by a couple (I will never know if they were really lost or not). I could see the "ring" drop metres in front of me - I never made eye contact and walked on.

I spoke to a few Parisians and they say they are often targets too.
kelsey22 is online now  
Old Sep 12th, 2012, 03:09 PM
  #145  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 962
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The San Francisco Chronicle just had an article about smartphone robberies: how a smartphone is involved in 1 out of 3 robberies nationwide, 1 out of 2 robberies in the bay area, and many are violent muggings.
http://www.sfgate.com/default/articl...ng-3850042.php

They are calling it "Apple picking."

It may be that these types of robberies are spiking in nearly every metropolitan area in many parts of the world.
christycruz is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2012, 03:41 PM
  #146  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,744
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"This is the purse snatching and drunk roll of the 21st century,"

No threat to our older Fodorites, still living unconnected in the 20th century.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:33 PM
  #147  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 703
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow... a sobering reminder. I'll have my iphone with me for the trip but I will not use it when out in Paris. I haven't been to Paris in 8 years but before that managed to make about 5 trips in 6 years during the late 90s, so I've always considered myself fairly and confident when avoiding or ignoring the crowds of Roma and other pickpockets.

Only once at an obscure metro train over 10 years ago did I see a true "mob" of pickpockets and they created a huge scene and disrupted French and tourists alike. But I suspect the feverish economic times we're in now (the world over) has led to an increase in this kind of activity, and I'm just surprised to hear that it's taken on a more physical, hands-on touching more like mugging.

These topics always bring out heated emotions, and for me it's a word to the wise and I take it as generally good reminder without getting too fearful for my general safety. I still love Paris but reading posts like this certainly do diminish a little my (perhaps naive) feelings I have for the "Paris I know."

However, maybe instead of warning people to "be aware" and not leaving their electronics out---especially since thieves are getting more brazen about these incidents---perhaps the warning should be what specifically to say or do when the Roma approach, or how to position oneself in a line or in a restaurant, etc to avoid getting pinned in. I think once in Florence I was advised to push back on the Roma.... and that's really hard for an American to do because in our laws that is considered assault.

I also remember in Rome once having to scream at them by the Forum as they started to swarm around us. I had to yell in Italian for them to leave, repeatedly calling for police, and we started waving our arms around "puffing ourselves up" as though we were yelling off a mountain lion. But I'm not sure I'd remember to do that now, and even so it takes some guts and practice before doing it confidently.

There are probably things that come with the kind of awareness that I imagine people who live in big cities do anyway, and people who live in the tranquil US suburbs do rarely. But as I've read here, they're doing it to locals, too.

By the way, there are always warnings to use the hotel safe... but in searching for a hotel our last night in Paris, I read many many reviews (from several 3 and 4-star hotels) of people having things taken out of their hotel safe. (One person's safe was actually unscrewed from the wall and removed from the room.) So I think the bottom line is there's risk everywhere.

And Cigalechanta's comment that they cut her purse strap off her shoulder. I used to always worry about that when travelling in southern Italy... and then you'll hear the alternative is a purse with a wire through the strap, but you run the risk of them yanking it and causing you to fall. So there are definitely issues to worry about all around.

My personal sentiment is you're much more likely to encounter a scammer or pickpocket in a European city because they are just everywhere. In the US, you might not see that kind of swarm action, but if you are targeted it's much more likely to contain violence or a weapon.

That said, I can really empathize with the OP's sentiment of his/her child feeling victimized, whether or not her body was touched by the swarm. Nobody can know how you would act in that situation. But as a parent, it sends chills down my spine and reminds me we will need to be uber-vigilant in this trip and be prepared in ways we might respond.
skatterfly is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:44 PM
  #148  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,338
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It always pays to pay attention, no doubt!

We just spent 3 wonderful days in Paris in October at the end of our 2 wk trip to Europe and never had a hint of anything amiss or any cause for concern.

The closest thing to an unpleasant encounter--which was not truly problematic at all-- was when we were standing in the lobby of a large subway/rail station looking at a map kiosk. A young man came over w/an offer of "help" and we politely declined and walked away.
socialworker is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2013, 01:41 PM
  #149  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,562
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We went again this past Thanksgiving and did not encounter really aggressive mobbing. As a reminder, we have basically visited Paris every year since 1998, so the really aggressive mobbing we experienced in 2011 was totally new to us.

This time we did get approached by the same skinny young girls with clipboards, but it was not as manic as last year. And the same words I used last year to rather little impact DID cause them to scatter this year.

I think the police have been a bit more active. And I have heard that Starbucks has created some other types of security since its wireless feature attracted this outright aggressive theft.

As skatterfly has said, I knew to be so proactive in Rome and Madrid, making myself do the "bigger look" as one would do with a mountain lion in CA. But in Paris, I just expected a con or two--and quite frankly, the gold ring con was always cut off before it began. As soon as the person bends down, and stands up, I shake my head No.

I agree Scatterfly--I don't use hotel safes because I always thought they would be prime targets. The hotel desk safe I would assume WOULD be safe, but then again, I've never used THAT either.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2013, 03:08 PM
  #150  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think watching electronics anywhere is a good idea. I can't tell you how many commuters have had their iPhones stolen on the DC Metro. Usually it's when the doors open at a stop and the perps wait until the doors are about to close snatch and grab the phone right when the doors close.

I also saw this years ago on the Chicago L, where a guy was pickpocketed in a packed car. He shouted at someone to catch the guy but by that time the perp was out of the station.
emily71 is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2013, 03:14 PM
  #151  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We also had a case just recently of a gang of juveniles menacing a group of college girls on the Metro. When one of them stole her phone she ran back and tried to grab it back-only to be punched by the other members of the gang. The Metro police blamed the victim saying she shouldn't have gone after the robber.

My point here is that crime can happen anywhere here in the US. I still ride the metro but am always cautious about taking out my phone. It's not only a Paris thing.
emily71 is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2013, 04:57 PM
  #152  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well here( Canada) just saw a commerical on tv about "Electronic safety " stuff, all about people stealing your phones and laptops from public places, it showed people sitting in coffee shops etc with their ebooks or whatever being stolen or people being mugged and phones taken, and this is about HERE not Europe. I think since they made such a commercial and play it here, it is a problem here too.
justineparis is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 10:43 AM
  #153  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Today is May 26, 2013 and I had an iPhone stolen from a cafe in St Germaine's. Kids came up to our dinner table at 5PM and put colored papers in our faces and stole the phone that was sitting on the table. We noticed 45 minutes later. Our honeymoon pictures are on that phone.
SparksSocial is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 11:01 AM
  #154  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can't blame yourself. They do this all day. You only go on a honeymoon a few times in a lifetime.

That said, for the benefit of others, never set a phone or camera or RayBans on a table or chair or bus or metro seat, ever.
Ackislander is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 12:51 PM
  #155  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't talk on the phone, either, walking down the street. Thy grab them off your hand then, too.
lincasanova is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 01:16 PM
  #156  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,338
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When we were in Paris in the fall, everyone seemed to have iPhones around. And I am not talking tourists. Of course, people should be careful and probably leaving them on the table in casual dining spots is a bad idea, but we did not observe Parisians being any more cautious or vigilant of their iPhones than what we see here in the States. What have you been seeing while you are there now, Ack?
socialworker is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 01:54 PM
  #157  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,562
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Socialworker: You have touched upon a key point. Paris natives, not just tourists, have been victimized greatly by this more aggressive mob-style of theft, and they also have been slow (or perhaps equally reluctant as we frequent visitors) to catch on that their relatively "swarm free" city is no more.
It's such a shame.

lincasanova, My daughter (study abroad) said that thefts of iphones right outside of Metro stations was a "no-duh". People are really intent making contact right there and totally drop guard.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 02:02 PM
  #158  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
yes.. she's right. Really on the rise.
lincasanova is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 02:06 PM
  #159  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 206
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My husband and I have iPhones with the "find my phone" app installed. I believe this actually works! You can track your phone using another iPhone so it's best to only leave ONE phone on the table . Or some other McDonalds customer will surely have an iPhone and then you would use his/her phone to see where YOUR phone is headed and grab the gendarme to help stop the thief. Could be pretty exciting and satisfying...
giannetta is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 08:21 PM
  #160  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, Parisians don't take any better care of their iPhones or wallets for that matter than Americans do, BUT they aren't in areas where there are tourists.

If you have been reading my current trip reports -- not likely since they don't have Paris in the title -- you will see that we have been doing a "Kerouac" trip, avoiding the main tourist areas.

We have seen exactly one begging gypsy, in front of Notre Dame. We have ridden buses and trams and the Metro and RER all over the city and to St Denis with people of every size, shape, ethnicity and national origin. The only place I even gave a thought to getting pickpocketed was along the Rue de Rivoli on our other brief excursion into central Paris.

We have seen people I wouldn't want to meet on a dark street, alone at midnight, but we have mostly seen people going about their daily lives. This would be pretty boring to a lot of people, so the bad guys go where the tourists go, and there it is. It is part of being a tourist. If you want to see the view from Sacre Couer, you put up with the baggage. I didn't quite know we would be quite so much off the beaten path before we got here, so I learned the phrase "Vas-t-en!" ("Go away!") But I haven't had to use it.

I still keep an eye on the "man bag" where I keep my camera and RayBans and iPad mini. It has a cross body strap and opens on the body side, so it isn't likely to go anywhere, and I don't take it off in public. This would look pretty dorky in Dallas, but man bags are pretty common here, and I could always call it a camera bag.
Ackislander is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -