Tip to Impact Pickpockets

Jul 2nd, 2007, 12:58 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 60
Tip to Impact Pickpockets

Returned recently from Madrid and was pickpocketed. Of course it can happen anywhere though in mentioning the story, another MD I work with also was pickpocketed-maybe a coincidence. Quite surprised as I have lived in urban cities, travel frequently and took normal precautions without ever having an incident in the past. They were so good, got it out of a front pocket that was under velcro. Good thing, I thinned my wallet prior to travel and had my credit card/passport in a spearate place. Lost cash and a debit card. But here is a tip-I had recently purchased a new condo for rental purposes and could not remember the code. I placed the code number for the condo in my wallet. So when my debit card was stolen, they thought they hit paydirt with the code also. But instead it was the code from my condo front gate. Luckily the bank registered unusual activity and they were not able to charge or get any cash. Also glad my debit and credit card have a photo on the front of the card. I now carry a fake code in my wallet at all times, in case I ever get hit again.
hotnphoenix is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 01:04 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
They got it out of a front pocket and it was under velcro...and please tell us what distraction they used because I suspect it was a very very good one..or were you "indisposed" when the actual event took place?
Dukey is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 01:43 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
hotnphonix, so sorry. Everything exactly the same except the pocket where the moneyçcredit card where happened to us in Madrid last March. We also have lived in urban cities, Paris, New York, travel frequently
and took normal precautions.....the answer is they are getting better at it PLUS they are getting a lot of experts from other countries...global economy I guess.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 01:44 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 62
My sister has lived in Europe and traveled all over for several years, and Madrid is the one place she got pickpocketed!
carla1183 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 01:45 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,913
buzzing traveler - are you listening?
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 01:50 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
OP - good tip
wombat7 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 01:53 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
One way not to lose your wallet is not to carry one -- the day's cash in one pocket and a credit card in another, or in a zippered pocket inside a purse or tote. The wallet is the easy grab for those expert thieves.
kayd is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 01:53 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,522
So sorry that happened to you. I also would like to know how the heck the pulled off that one.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 02:00 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,702
The only place I have ever had my pocket (bag) picked was in Bloomingdale's one New York Thanksgiving weekend, when I wasn't paying attention.

However, stories like this make me continue to wonder why people want to take passports, tickets, cards with them when they go out. I still feel that a hotel would have to be really unsavourty for me to decide tonot to leave my valuables there.
Carlux is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 02:04 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,702
The only place I have ever had my pocket (bag) picked was in Bloomingdale's one New York Thanksgiving weekend, when I wasn't paying attention.

We went to Barcelona for a weekend recently and having heard stories of muggings and pickpockets, left virtually everything at home - even my wedding ring, which, being over 100 years old, I don't want to lose. Of course, being well prepared, we didn't encounter anyone the least bit suspicious or dangerous

However, stories like this make me continue to wonder why people want to take passports, tickets, cards with them when they go out. I still feel that a hotel would have to be really unsavoury for me to decide not to leave my valuables there. Some cash and one card is just about right.
Carlux is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 02:11 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,375
I don't know why people must say that "it can happen anywhere" when it is simply a fact that pickpocketing is more likely in some cities and countries than others. And Madrid is one of them, but people don't want to people it.

I am also very curious as to how someone pickpocketed you, except that I gather you weren't as careful as you thought -- if they unripped the velcro, that's all it took, that's isn't any real obstacle. So either you weren't paying any attention so your own pants (or the noise), or they did it and immediately ran off the train, so even when you know it there is nothing you can do about it. I've seen that happen to guys, especially when they are standing around the metro doors.

I've never been pickpocketed, including in Madrid, but I don't carry my wallet around in my pants pockets, whether under velcro or not. When I was there, I heard several folks saying they were pickpocketed also, when talking to the desk clerk at my hotel.

But it can happen anywhere, of course.
Christina is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 07:24 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 60
Oh BTW, it happened on the metro on the way to airport. Thought I was paying attention, but trains were packed (so for other posters-I was not indisposed and not an option to not carry necessities (money, cards, passport) with you as you are leaving the country. Hopefully, we all know not to wander around traveling during the day with passport and wads of cash. Luckily they didn't get much cash as I was spending down my euros in preparation of leaving the country that day.
hotnphoenix is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 04:27 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
The idea, common on this board, that you can protect yourself against a really expert -- that is, really expert -- pickpocket is almost certainly false.

You may have seen the pickpocket on the Travel Channel who entertains by removing people's watches, neckties, wallets, etc while they remain entirely unaware, even though they _know_ he is trying to "steal" their items? Like magic shows, it is all in the distraction. Believe me, this guy and people at his skill level, could have your hidden waist belt off in seconds, and you would never even know it.

Thus no blame attaches if you take reasonable precautions and still get hit. It is like driving safely and having some idiot drive right into you. It happens. Just do what you can to prevent it, have a backup plan, and relax.
Ackislander is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 05:05 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
One lesson to be learned from hotnphoenix's experience: transport services to and from airports are happy hunting grounds for pickpockets. I would be very careful about using a metro when it seems obvious that I might be carrying valuables, and I would certainly not use a crowded one where I cannot make space around myself and see where people's hands might be.
Padraig is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 05:35 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
European countries treat pickpocketing as a misdemeanor. I have seen the same gang operating in Kraków many times. There is a similar group in Warszawa. Gdańsk and Katowice have groups of 'gypsy' women accosting travelers. The police apparently allow this...as a kind of business. I have friend who wears a T-shirt with a pocket inside out under his shirt and coat. In 20 years no one has managed to broach his cache.
GSteed is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 05:54 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
Since the OP has purposely not responded I have decided that he was absolutely stoned when someone got a wallet out of a velcro-closed front pocket.
Dukey is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 06:01 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
The OP did respond on 7/03.
Kristina is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 06:09 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,079
I am probably just not awake yet, but I can't quite see how carrying a fake code helps you. Could someone explain this to me please?
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 06:19 AM
  #19  
LJ
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
To: K, I wondered about this, too. I THINK the implication is that the thief will mistake the code for your debit card PIN and try to use it and fail and that usage will be recorded by your bank as "unusual activity" and will be on alert and deny transactions.

In all this furore, I hope that Kayd's suggestion did not go unnnoticed: not carrying a wallet is the best insurance policy against not having a wallet stolen. The simple measure of carrying only the cash and cards you need in 3/4 different pockets is an old cop's trick that still works-my Dad taught me this and both of us have lived through unsuccessful attempts to relieve of us the wallets-that-weren't.
LJ is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 06:22 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
Kristine, a fake code causes the thief a moment of disappointment.

Wouldn't it be good if one particular fake code used in conjunction with a card triggered a system so that the card was retained and activated whatever security measures were available at the location?
Padraig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:42 AM.