Parisian Pickpockets

May 31st, 2013, 09:25 AM
  #41  
 
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Jay_G, within the context of comparing the struggling Eurozone and other large cities in America, I stand by my statement. I did not say NYC felt nothing. However, in a city this populated, it's not easy to feel 10% unemployment, especially when there's a wait of 30 minutes to buy fresh produce at Whole Foods, and/or endure a month lead time to get a reservation at a top-50 restaurant. Also, home foreclosures did not occur much in Manhattan.

Furthermore, I've lived in NYC since the Koch admin., when street crime was at an all-time high. Yes, some Fodorites know I was mugged here, which explains why I took self-defense classes in the early 80's.

Street crime did not change much after 2008. We expected it, but nothing came remotely close to those awful years in the early 80's.

The fashion industry has been complaining for some time about the conditions in Paris. I'm surprised the mainstream media is not writing more about its effect on tourism.
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May 31st, 2013, 09:46 AM
  #42  
 
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Surfmom: I have bookmarked the Kelly More Riva bag, which looks great. I traveled with a DSLR last two European trips. This time I decided I wanted to travel light and am bringing a G1 X, which I'm impressed with so far. The Pacsafe bag will carry that plus umbrella, iPad mini, kindle, wallet, guidebook.
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May 31st, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #43  
 
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My husband firmly believed that his wallet was safe in his front pocket until a pickpocket relieved him of it during morning rush hour on the Madrid Metro. These guys are very good at what they do.
MaineGG is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 12:22 PM
  #44  
 
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Same here. Two friends with wallets in their front pockets. Bye bye wallets.
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May 31st, 2013, 12:27 PM
  #45  
 
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DH also has a chain on wallet that he attaches to his belt loop. In close quarters, DH keeps his hand on his pocket or on his wallet. We've never lost more than an umbrella on any of our many trips to Europe.
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May 31st, 2013, 12:39 PM
  #46  
 
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Love my PacSafe!
http://pacsafe.com/www/index.php?_ro...=detail&id=226
(in black of course)

Everything is so handy and right in front of me. It's not large but if something won't fit in this shoulder bag, I leave it home or in the room!

While standing next to my friend recently in Cusco, he had his backpack unzipped but they left mine alone. Who knows, but I like to think they picked him as an easier mark!
Toucan is offline  
Jun 1st, 2013, 04:03 AM
  #47  
 
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Pickpockets are found in all major cities with tourist visitors. There are many common sense suggestions for mitigating the risk as discussed here. The fact that the Louvre shut for a day b/c of it is indication of a greater problem than one might normally experience. It would have been just as newsworthy if it had been NYC's Met or the British Museum.

Am in Paris at the moment and have seen signs **everywhere** in the most touristed spots alerting to the presence of pickpockets. We are enjoying the city immensely but it does take a toll. Have seen a few of the sorts of scams described here, none yet directed at us.

>>You also say that police presence is strong on the subway, but there were none around on the train I was on the to Bronx when a homeless guy started ranting and raving, forced open the doors of the moving train so he could throw out whatever he was eating and start hassling the women in the carriage. No-one did anything to stop him, or call the police. In fact, when he finally got off, my aunt turned to me and said "welcome to New York".<<

Saw a similar sort of thing returning to the hotel from the French Open yesterday. Man marching up and down the car ranting at anyone and everyone. Didn't see the need to contact police but didn't make eye contact with him either.
obxgirl is offline  
Jun 1st, 2013, 04:44 AM
  #48  
 
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"You also say that police presence is strong on the (NYC)subway"

It's about as strong as it was during the Giuliani administration (the strongest in my history).

"but there were none around on the train I was on…"

For goodness, common-sense sakes, I never said the police were everywhere for all people at all times. That's just a bit silly. On top of that, most homeless people here are not criminals looking to rob tourists. This thread is about crime directed at tourists, not homelessness.

"No-one did anything to stop him"

Stopping people in NYC from ranting in public? Are you kidding me? If you live here, you need to rant at times, no matter your mental state. Everyone knows it.

On most occasions, ordinary people will not touch the homeless. And there are a variety of smart reasons for that. Many of the homeless here suffer from mental disease, and public ranting is a common symptom. Most of us know that the vast majority of mentally-impaired homeless are harmless.

"or call the police"

I've never had luck using a cell phone in the underground subway to call anyone, and unless New Yorkers sense imminent danger, we tend not to bother police with the perception of trivial concerns. However, when we do sense grave danger, or when we see a tourist physically accosted, there's always someone around who is willing to help. Police get called, and they arrive quickly. You simply can't keep crime rates low if this in not the case.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Jun 1st, 2013, 10:47 PM
  #49  
 
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Friends of ours just returned from a 3 week trip to Europe and they did not have trouble with pick pockets until they got to Paris. The husband found a pickpocket's hand in his pocket while at the Louvre and at Versailles and also at a train station. He had nothing in his pockets so lost nothing. Our friend is 6'7" tall and he said the guys ran very fast when he caught them redhanded.
Cali is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2013, 03:38 AM
  #50  
 
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Thanks to everyone who posted here. Are pickpockets going to scare me from going to Paris this fall? No. But it is very helpful to know what the scams are to to be able to watch out for them.
sdtravels is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:31 AM
  #51  
 
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Last week in Florence an American tourist was stabbed by a pickpocket in broad daylight just outside the Duomo, where they had stopped to listen to street musicians. He resisted losing his wallet, so the guy stabbed him. Last I heard, the fellow had emergency surgery to repair his lung and they removed one kidney. It's good to be aware this is a problem in Europe, not just in Paris. Another friend's traveling companion recently lost her camera in Brussels to a pickpocket.
susan001 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2013, 03:35 PM
  #52  
 
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People post as if it was only tourists who are crime victims. In Paris, many Parisians get robbed, just like in New York city, it is mostly New Yorkers who get robbed, not tourists. Just because you live someplace and watch out for crime does not mean you can't be a victim.

It is better not to carry valuable things on the street, especially if you have never been on those streets before. Also, forget about being talkative with people you don't know. Just go about the business to came to Paris to see. Don't be distracted by people trying to create theatre or be your friend.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 03:40 PM
  #53  
 
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One more idea I wanted to add:

I notice people here use the word gypsy or Roma like other people in past times used the word "jew". There were of course some jews who cheated people but to imagine all jews were like that resulted in terrible horrors to jewish people. Please do not talk of gypsies and Romas as if you knew who they were, especially if you come to Europe only a few days in your life and otherwise live in a country like America, where you cannot tell who is what ethnicity. Elvis Presley was a Roma. So was Mother Teresa. Please do no talk as if you knew gypsies.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 04:49 PM
  #54  
 
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frenchfrenchie on Jun 2, 13 at 6:40pm
One more idea I wanted to add:
I notice people here use the word gypsy or Roma like other people in past times used the word "jew". Please do no talk as if you knew gypsies.


I've had more than one up-close and personal encounter with gypsies in Europe, maybe a dozen or more from Warsaw to Madrid and Bulgaria to Dublin and most major cities including Paris and Milan. Gypsies, the women, are easily identified by their colorful long dresses, scarves, and a mis-matched coat in the winter. They hang out in packs of 8 to 12 in busy tourist areas, pretty much filling the sidewalk. The women do all the work, especially the young ones. There is nothing in my travels anywhere that so quickly sends a chill up my spine. The best defense is to take their photo. They hate that. I especially like to use my video camera and get the action. They run like rabbits. For amusement, sit at a cafe across the street from the Gare du Nord in Paris and watch the pack when the police drive up. The pack quickly departs, then the police get back in their cars and drive away. The pack reassembles and is back in minutes.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 05:35 PM
  #55  
 
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Great. I'll be arriving at Gare du Nord. Not sure If I'd be better off switching to Metro at that point, or go outside to look for a taxi stand. I really would rather avoid a "pack."
susan001 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2013, 06:11 PM
  #56  
 
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I think I know -- switch to RER connection at Paris Nord, get off at St. Michel.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 08:27 PM
  #57  
 
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susan001 on Jun 2, 13 at 8:35pm
Great. I'll be arriving at Gare du Nord. Not sure If I'd be better off switching to Metro at that point, or go outside to look for a taxi stand. I really would rather avoid a "pack."


I believe that the taxi stand for pickups is at the SE corner of the station on rue de Maubeuge. The gypsy pack hangs near the taxi drop off point on the south side of the station on Place Napoleon III. They accost every arriving passenger, even before they get out of their taxi.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 09:12 PM
  #58  
 
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That's unbelievable. Thanks for the tip. I may see if I can get on the RER to St. Michel station, which is just a few blocks from my hotel.
susan001 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 04:51 AM
  #59  
 
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In today's NY Times:

"The complexity and tragedy of the problem are easily seen here in Paris at the Gare du Nord, one of the busiest transportation hubs in France."

"The politicians have also focused on petty crime, like pickpocketing and the theft of smartphones, which they associate with Roma. Recently, the Louvre was shut down for a day in protest because groups of young men were harassing staff members and visitors. (The museum is free for those under 18.) The Louvre now has a warning on its Web site about pickpockets."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/wo...nted=1&_r=0&hp
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 06:22 AM
  #60  
 
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We arrived at Gare du Nord on Eurostar in December. It was our first trip to Europe, but we travelled as a family, and with three teenage kids we were able to "circle the wagons" when stopped and trying to get our bearings, or while one of us went to buy tickets / food / etc.
Because of our obvious vigilance (i think), the few that tried to "help" us quickly gave up - in fact it became a bit of a competition for us to identify who would be targeted next, as we watched confused and heavily laden tourist drag luggage down the stairs, then gaze about them with puzzlement as to what to do next - many of them were very receptive to offers of help!
To be fair, however, we also saw lots of petition collectors in Florence and Rome, and as many people offering "help" to tourists in train stations in Venice, Florence and Rome.
Maybe there were smaller crowds in the cold of December -although there were plenty of Christmas shoppers in the streets (but perhaps not as many tourists?), tourist attractions were less crowded. The Metro was busy - we used Line 1 daily, as we were staying in the Marais between St Paul and Bastille and never had any problems - the other benefit of travelling in the cold of course is that it is easier to wear coats - firmly buttoned and with inside pockets!
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