Our passports were stolen in Paris

Aug 12th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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>You loss is very unfortunate - but if you're always on guard it won't happen (and no need to money belts or strange pouches or money pinned to your clothes).<

Oh, really? I once witnessed a band of children fleece an older couple in Florence. Those snappers got everything--watch, wallet, opened the woman's handbag and took out things inside. These kids were trained and it all happened in a matter of seconds.

What do you do when a Vespa whizzes past and the driver grabs your purse??

Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 09:10 PM
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Even apart from the scenarios Thin just described, I know personally that I am not on guard all the time. I simply do not have that level of concentration, and I doubt very many people do, apart from Secret Service Agents.
WillTravel is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 10:17 PM
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My passport was stolen in a hotel in Spain (Lloret de Mar).

My co-worker's purse including passport, money, cell phone etc. was stolen in the breakfast room of a hotel in Prague. According to the police it turned out the hotel staff was involved with the gang that stole it.
Ingo is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 10:56 PM
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Ah... the breakfast room but not the hotel room!

One of my colleague's friends had all of her money ($6000 in cash!) and her passport stolen in the breakfast room of the Hilton Vienna a couple of months ago. She left her purse on the chair when she went to the buffet. The Hilton provided a free ride to the American embassy for her. How nice.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 13th, 2009, 05:13 AM
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I've yet to hear a story about valuables taken from a money belt. Hint..hint
TravMimi is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 05:54 AM
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That's because they mug you when you are fumbling with it. You would not believe the number of people that I have seen undressing at the cash register in front of the world.

So many people think that they will find a discreet place to get their money out before they need to pay for something, and then they see that thing they just have to buy right this instant! Like a can of Coke.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 13th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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Undressing to get into your money belt???????? lol

I have heard people who don't wear money belts say, "They are uncomfortable" lol

I'm starting to get an image of why they say money belts are uncomfortable, and believe me, it's the IMAGE that's uncomfortable.

Where the he!! are these people wearing money belts??? lol........ sorry - fell on the floor laughing.
TravMimi is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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I doubt seriously that anyone said the thieves were Romanians. People from Romania are not identifiable from other Europeans, especially eastern Europeans, on a video tape. The person in the store probably said Romany- a group blamed for a lot of crime in Europe, justifiably or not. This has resulted in various discriminatory actions against the Roma people, including apartment buildings that won't rent to them, etc.
ethrush is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 06:50 AM
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Chiming in as one who has a) never had a passport stolen from a HOTEL room and b) never heard a verifiable hotel room theft of a passport reported (until it was mentioned in this thread and I think we have ascertained that it was the BREAKFAST room).

But I don't carry a purse or a moneybelt...nor do I undress at the cash register to go diving for some sort of hidden stash. I have a pocket in my jeans/slacks and keep only minimal cash and one debit card and one credit card tucked into a very small inside pocket that I have stitched inside THAT outer pocket...I use my change as I go.

Never been successully 'picked' with this simple tactic.
LJ is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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I've used the photocopy of my passport several times when asked for my passport when making a purchase or filling ot forms for the VAT refund. It's always been accepted. Your photo and passport number is what they need.


Why did your friend have $6,000 in cash in her purse?
Luisah is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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Luisah - I remember Kerouac saying (in another post)that it was small potatoes for her.
I thought about it a lot. I guess carrying $100 is small potatoes for me but HUGE money for most people in Zimbabwe.
All rellevant really!
tod is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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I sometimes wear a moneybelt, but I always have enough cash for the day in my wallet so there's no need to dig into my moneybelt for cash during the day. I also carry my ATM card and Credit card in separate inside pockets in my day bag, so I don't need to dig into my money belt for those either.

What's inside my moneybelt? The rest of cash, spare ATM card, spare credit card.
yk is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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LJ - just for the record: My co-workers purse, passport etc. were stolen from the breakfast room. My passport was stolen from the hotel room. It was a not so good two star hotel in Spain. No other unpleasant experiences with theft in hotel rooms since then.
Ingo is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Personally, I use no additional precautions when I travel. I use the same behavior as I do every day here in NYC.
Margaretlb is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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I'm wondering why you are going to Paris to collect a cancelled passport and presumably cancelled credit/ATM cards.
It seems an expensive trip to collect what is largely worthless now. I know some people will leap at any excuse to go to Paris but this seems a bit extreme to me.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 10:28 AM
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Why would you have to go back to Paris to retrieve your belongings? Why can't you just send them money to mail them?
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 13th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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My experience using Visa CC in Spain was same as TIMSMOM. I showed a copy of my passport often mentioned as sufficient in this forum. The store clerk asked her supervisor and said, "Sorry, a copy is no good; show me a real passport."

Amount was too small for VAT, but too much to accept without an ID.
greg is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Ingo: I am sorry for your loss...that must have been very distressing...I did not mean to imply that I did not believe you, I just didn't understand your posting!

Others: Cyndyq is going to some government/police dep't branch in the US? or BACK to Paris from the US? or maybe she is still in France? all this is very murky...but surely the bottom line is that passport thefts from hotel room/safes in hotel rooms are rare indeed-far rarer than the chance of getting pick-pocketed IF you carry the thing around with you... maybe with Spain as an exception (seems odd to me, but first to admit I don't know Spain)?
LJ is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 11:39 AM
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Not only that I don't have a money belt ( I'd rather wear a chastity belt), I carry a purse with one CC and about 100E around. Other CCs , passport and some money are in my bag in the hotel room. I must say though, I have never stayed in a
2 star hotel. Never had my purse stolen either.
danon is offline  
Aug 13th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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I have two things that I make me feel safe while I travel:

1. A wallet with a loop that I slip through my belt and stuff the rest down the front of my pants.

2. A small coin wallet in my purse that is easy to get to. I carry my daily budget there.

3. Passports, tickets and extra money are left in the safe.
kleeblatt is offline  

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