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My last day in Paris -- a trip to the Bastille by Police Car!

My last day in Paris -- a trip to the Bastille by Police Car!

Old Sep 6th, 2011, 10:31 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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You did exactly the right thing, Patrick! I would think a wallet would be perfectly safe in a zippered front pocket. Perhaps it was because it was a roomy cargo pants pocket that made the difference. I wear tighter pants or jeans, and would like to think I would feel the dip's hand rummaging around down there, but what do I know -- so few ladies rummage around down there anymore ----------- sigh.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 10:41 AM
  #22  
 
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I think a lot of men think things are perfectly safe in their pants pockets, but I really don't know why they think that. It is one of the most likely-to-be-pickpocketed places to carry something. A zipper doesn't stop anyone. I'm a woman, so maybe the magical thinking men have as to the safety of their pockets eludes me. I wear pants with pockets, and it wouldn't occur to me that was a safe place to carry things in places with a lot of pickpockets, like tourist-filled Paris areas.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 10:50 AM
  #23  
 
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Thanks for posting.
Neither I nor my husband have money belts or ever will.
I carry over the chest handbag that I never take off.
No passports , just one CC and 50-100 euros.
He has nothing is his back pocket.
A friend from Rome told us he had his back pocket ,with a wallet
in it , cut off in the Metro.
It is unfortunate that organized crime from "eastern Europe" has infested the streets of Paris, Rome,
Barcelona .
One can bet that the local are not too thrilled about the situation either.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 10:51 AM
  #24  
 
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Something that is often mentioned in press articles in France is that all of these criminals claim to be 15 years old to escape prosecution. However, they are often taken to the hospital for medical examinations by the police, notably bone structure, and the majority of them are determined to be aged 20-25. Don't worry about being mean to "little children."
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 11:21 AM
  #25  
 
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Yay Patrick! Glad to hear that once in a while, they do catch a culprit. If it starts to happen often enough, they'll need to think up something else...maybe pickpocketing can be minimized.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 11:59 AM
  #26  
 
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8226580.stm.

is the BBC documentary I referred to earlier.
Very unfortunate, but true.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 12:01 PM
  #27  
 
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Good going, Patrick!
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 12:16 PM
  #28  
 
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We were just in Greece and Paris the last two weeks, and the great money pouch I got for my husband from Eagle Creek travel gear was super easy to use. It was certainly worth the peace of mind.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 12:23 PM
  #29  
ira
 
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Hey NP,

>The one girl had managed to unzip the pocket and get the wallet out without disturbing the camera...<

You were attacked by some real pros.

No shame in that.

I bring a small air horn (available at boat supply houses) with me for times when "bad guys" get too close. The blare can be heard for a mile.

Glad that you were able to make contact with the police and that they were able to help.

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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 12:27 PM
  #30  
 
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But Ira, we use the metric system. Nobody could hear anything that can be heard for a mile.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 12:32 PM
  #31  
 
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Good job, Patrick. You can check that experience off your bucket list now.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 01:21 PM
  #32  
 
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My take away from this posting is that like an investment instrument disclaimer, past result is not a guarantee of future performance. Having avoided past pickpockets does not ensure one can avoid future threats. Also, being aware of the pickpocket schemes is not sufficient to avoid being pickpocketed.

I carry a wallet in my back pants pocket, and it actual protects my valuable -- how? It is a decoy wallet. So far, the pickpockets seem to assume that everyone carries only one wallet and that wallet carries all the money and cards. So, I take advantage of that (false) assumption and let the pickpockets waste his one chance to go after my decoy wallet. By the time he realizes he has been duped, I am out of his reach.

Pockets in tight fitting clothes is not a sufficient protection. In a crowded bus, the pickpockets work as a team to create an artificial tight space to force you to squeeze between them. You cannot sense them reaching into your supposedly tight pockets during this process.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 01:51 PM
  #33  
 
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Like nukesafe, my husband believed his wallet was safe in his front pants pocket, sure that he would know immediately if anyone was "rummaging around down there."

Well, he lost his wallet on the Madrid Metro during rush hour one morning, so, lesson learned.

Those folks are very good at what they do.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 01:55 PM
  #34  
 
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Also, NeoPatrick, thank you for taking the time to do the right thing.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 02:10 PM
  #35  
 
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well done Patrick.

look, no flames!
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 03:28 PM
  #36  
 
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The trick with the front pants pocket for wallets is multi-faceted. 1)I only wear jeans. 2) I have a bit of a "beer belly" so they are kind of tight (but not too tight). 3) I turn my wallet sideways in my pocket. I have a heck of a time getting it out, as it first has to be rotated, then pulled out.

4) I usually stuff some napkins in the same pocket. I set razor blades in these. (Just kidding)

dave
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 04:30 PM
  #37  
 
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Excellent trip report Patrick !
I, too have paid more for less exciting activities than a trip to the Bastille with French police.

The same scammers tried to pickpocket my daughter in a Metro station this summer.
Luckily her pocket was empty and the 'thief' was surprised when my daughter screamed loudly (she's 14 and a first soprano so it was loud and high pitched!).
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 06:10 PM
  #38  
 
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Good for you, Patrick!
A memorable day in Paris. ;-)
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 06:38 PM
  #39  
mms
 
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Good for you Patrick! Nice to know that the police are trying to tackle this problem.

We just got back from Paris a few weeks ago. One thing that I do is to use a small lock on my purse. It is a crossbody bag, and the zipper has 2 pulls so it can be zipped either direction. On the pulls, there are small holes, so I use a tiny lock on them. It gives me just a bit more peace of mind, yet is very quick and easy to undo when I want to get into it.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 06:54 PM
  #40  
 
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Sorry you had to deal with this but I'm glad for your follow-through.

I bought my husband a wallet with a small chain attached. He puts the wallet in his front pocket and attaches the chain to his front belt loop. I'm going to buy one also for our son who will be traveling to Europe with us next year. Just goes to show, no matter how prepared you are, sometimes the thieves are still one step ahead.
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