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Thieves in French trains. Message to authorities about major risks.

Thieves in French trains. Message to authorities about major risks.

Dec 10th, 2010, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 43
Although it may seem like "overkill", when we traveled from Paris to Belgium, then Belgium to London, we used a bicycle cable lock to loop our 2 suitcases together, passing the cable through the luggage rack. Of course, our suitcases zippers were also locked. We could then just relax and enjoy the journey without worrying about keeping an eye on our luggage. Better safe than sorry! We did get up to unlock them right as we were coming into the station, so we didn't hold up other travelers. Then we were right with our luggage and ready to get off the train.
thevacationqueen is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 29
Christina, you´re absolutely right, I mean the overhead racks since, as you stated, there are no bins like in airplanes. The TGV where this happened was the route Paris-Rennes, departing from Montparnasse. The train was almost full and we were carrying 3 more big bags that we couldn´t put besides us, which thieves wouldn´t certainly be interested on, due to the weight. The ones stolen were linked by the strap of one of them "to make them harder to steal" so what thevacationqueen states is not exagerated at all.

Some additional comments: of course we assume 100% responsibility of this issue due to our distraction. Even after 2 flights in a raw (Botswana-South Africa-France and RER CDG to Montparnase: more than 15 hours), we should have been more careful on board the train.

As StCirq and RonDace stated above, my intention here is double: first, a friendly warning or reminder to first timers or experienced travelers. Second, to express my concern about the lack of a simple boarding procedure in european trains to prevent non-passengers to be on board, due to much bigger potential risks...I´m not looking for converting train industry in Europe as the airports worldwide.
fernando is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 20
Fernando, thanks for the reminder to be vigilant. We'll work on how to secure our suitcases and smaller items when we make that same Paris to Rennes trip in the spring.
DKA is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 03:01 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
lack of a simple boarding procedure in european trains to prevent non-passengers to be on board
In Britain there is a simple procedure. Before getting on a train platform you must pass through a ticket turnstile, similar to those in the Paris Metro. There are usually attendants on duty to keep an eye on the people and prevent the vermin from leaping over or squeezing through two at a time. When you get off a train you must pass through another turnstile. This is sometimes an inconvenience when you travel with a BritRail Pass and get off in a smaller city. The Pass doesn't work in the turnstile machine. The attendants may be having tea in their office so you have to wait a moment for one of them to notice you and open the gate for baby carriages and wheelchairs.
spaarne is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 07:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Thanks for the timely warning!

I was just reading on another Fodors' thread about these jackets and vests which has lots of pockets and eliminates the need to carry important, expensive and loose items in backpacks.


I'm seriously thinking of getting a couple - one for warm weather and one for cold.

Hope this helps.

BTW, besides the demos on the website, there are also a few videos on youtube.
easytraveler is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 36
Not just bags are stolen. On a Prague train my husband and I watched a few different times different thieves wait until the doors were about to close, and steal wallets out of the pockets of the standing persons and jump off. Happened the other way also, as the passengers were exiting, their wallets were discretely taken out of their back pockets and the thieves were left on the train with us, very strange for us and not a care from them.
dhb5221 is offline  

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