Oct 9th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Have you ever caught someone in the act pickpocketing you? If so, what did you do? Did you make a scene, deck them, yell....
angy400 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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None of the above. I told him if he pickpocketed me, I would be writing about the experience on Fodors. Well, that worked! I never saw someone run so fast!
francophile03 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Hee Hee francophile03. Good one. In 2001 my husband and I and two Paris newbie friends went to Paris. We had just arrived, dropped our bags, and went out. We were on the #1 line at the Louvre stop when our friend yelled out, 'they got me'. DH looked this little kid right in the eye, picked him up by the collar (I kid you not), and said 'Give it back'. He did, and then DH literally threw him off the train onto the platform. Mama and the brothers just stood there with a pretty shocked look in their eyes. It was classic.
LoriNY is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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I was in Paris many years ago when I witnessed a pickpocketing, only I didn't know what I was seeing at the time it happened. We were at the Sacre Coeur and there was an Irish family nearby. A seedy-looking man came by and bumped dad of the Irish family. The Irishman immediately knew what had happened so he grabbed the pickpocket by the neck and shouted, "I want me wallet!! Give back me wallet!!" The Irishman had a firm grip on the pickpocket's neck and I thought he was going to kill him. The pickpocket's head got really red and he eventually handed back the wallet, so the Irishman let go. One of the daughters said, "Well done, Dad." The pickpocket stumbled away, gasping for breath. We came over to see if the Irish people were OK. They said they were fine, and they caught this entire incident on video. What I wouldn't give for a copy of that video, it must be priceless!!

Here's the only bad part. A couple of cops were standing nearby and the Irish family told them what had just happened. The pickpocket was still in the immediate vicinity. Maybe these officers didn't understand English. Or perhaps they figured that since the Irishman got his wallet back, no harm was done except to the pickpocket. In any case, no action was taken by the police.
P_M is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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A lady on a trip I was on had it happen, and a customer of mine did to. Luckly I have never been. Holland and France respectively.

The lady, it was here own fault, had the same thing happen three years in a row. She thinks it is a hassel to get in her purse every time she want money so leaves it unbuckeled. Well if its easy for her then its easy for others. Keep purses zipped and buckeled at all times with the flap facing your body.

The customer swatted at at hit the persons wrist very hard. The door on the bus was still open and the picker jumped from the bus straight into the policemans arms.
JSLee is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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In Rome between the Forum and Coliseum I was waking directly behind my dad who at the time was about 76 years old. I saw a young girl position herself in front of him; she was holding up an old newspaper or something and an even younger “urchin” positioned himself between my dad and me. This little guy looked to be about seven years old; and I watched him as he “folded” up his hand and begin to reach into my dad’s pocket. Since I knew my dad had his money in his money belt, I thought I would just see what happened. Well, the child barely began to put in his hand when my dad quickly swiveled around! They just froze and stared at each other for a few seconds, but when my dad then reached out to grab the child’s arm (which was still frozen in mid air) the kid shot away!

At the time there was a pack of kids with an older one – teenaged – congregating at the side of the road. I think maybe they were in training. When my husband got the video camera out again and began to film them they made themselves scarce.

My dad later said he felt the hand start to go in his pocket. He has always had the most phenomenal reflexes… he’s a decorated WWII vet.
Trophywife007 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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i carry a decoy, an old replaced wallet, in my rear pocket...

in it are stuffed those meaningless "promo" credit cards, some euro sized papers with belittling epitaphs and a photo of two camels copulating.

my real cash and credit are secure in the top of my over the calf socks (knee highs, for the ladies).

i'm not sure if i've ever been pickpocketed of these treasures, but someone spared no effort in returning them.
subcon is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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angy400 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 04:04 PM
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subcon, I'd suggest adding a couple of razor blades to that stash in the decoy wallet.

In London't Portobello Market, I once watched a couple young girls (I won't mention an ethnic variation, but they wore bright bandanas and lots of gold jewelry) slowly unzipping a back pack as they walked behind an unsuspecting young lady. I went up to the victim and told here what was going on, and together we "chased" the culprits away. They gave me the finger as they left. I had no idea they spoke my language.

Another time in Rome, I suspect two similar girls (only younger -- about 8 or so) must have seen me put my wallet into my front pocket. They came up to me and while one was tugging and kissing my left arm saying "Americano, Americano" the other with a newspaper over her arm was going into my right pocket. I grabbed her hand, twisted as hard as I could, and may have broken a couple of fingers. They ran away.
Patrick is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 04:39 PM
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"...a photo of two camels copulating". LOL. Mmmm...Looking at that could be more traumatic for the thieves than the razor blades!
worldinabag is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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Oh, Patrick, stop being p.c. Those girls were gypsies. I once saw a gaggle of gypsy children frisk an elderly couple in Florence. The whole incident was over in about 7 seconds. Those gypsies got everything--the woman's purse, watch, necklace, bracelet, and earrings. They also took the man's wallet and watch. It was unbelievable at how fast these thieves were.

I saw a man almost have his wallet taken on the Ramblas in Barcelona. The man was only inches from me. I saw a hand reach down to take his wallet, but the man felt the hand and immediately grabbed his back pocket. The thief ran away into the crowd without the wallet.

My good friend Heather was in Spain when a gypsy girl grabbed a woman's purse as she tried to get out of a cab. Heather was standing on the street and blocked the girl's exit, so she ran into the street. The girl was then hit by a car. The girl was VERY BADLY injured, very close to death. Heather still feels guilty about what happened.
ThinGorjus is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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LOL Patrick, love your stories!!! You are one "bad" fellow
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 06:48 PM
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I almost forgot about the time someone on the tube tried to pickpocket my Mom. We had been at Harrods and we were on a very crowded tube heading back to the hotel. There was a woman on the tube who smelled like she hadn't bathed in years. This nasty woman came over and stood right by Mom. Mom tried to back away from her to escape the lethal fumes coming off the trashy woman's body, but the tube was so crowded Mom couldn't get very far from her. Finally Mom saw the woman sticking her hand into Mom's Harrod's bag. That woman probably thought she would snag a Rolex or something similar. Mom snatched the bag away and gave that woman a dirty look. At this point that pig knew she was busted, so she backed away. What's funny is the only thing we bought at Harrods was candy.
P_M is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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Yes. A couple of years ago, near the Cluny metro stop in Paris. Felt something on my hip, turned and it was a young kid, maybe pre-teen, with his hand in my purse. The street was fairly busy and he had a few of his friends with him. I swatted at him with my umbrella, he laughed, as did I. At that point he must've already realized my purse contained nothing more than a map & a water bottle.
tully is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 08:03 PM
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Yes, yes, yes. Once successfully, too. In London, taking the train to the airport, got on the train and saw that my overnight bag was unzipped. They took my Coach wallet, which had been a gift. The wallet was empty, but it was a Coach wallet and I treasured it for the generous gift that it was.

On the way from Santa Margherita to Recco by train, a girl and her little brother put their hands right into my shirt pocket. The only thing in the pocket was my cancelled ticket, but the nerve of them unnerved me!

On a metro in Rome, several teen girls surrounded me and tugged at my clothing and a slim purse that I wear across my body. My husband pushed them away, but they stood right next to us the entire time we were on that train. Husband insulted them and gave them looks that would vanquish me, but the brazen girls didn't care at all.

I find this brazen attitude to be very creepy. My brother was robbed at knife point of a watch in NYC, but at least the robber had the good grace to run away.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  

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