Warning - Do Not Go To Pisa

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Oct 8th, 2018, 02:59 PM
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As for NYC, I won't give my reasons for what I did. Leaving my luggage in my trunk was the reasonable thing to do for me. I also have taken shopping packages to my car to continue shopping. I've always seen security in big shopping centers in the parking lots. It doesn't have to be an expensive item thiefs want. I've also accidentally forgotten to lock my car in my driveway and people have stolen some change. I one time had a usb charging cable stolen but nothing else. So I think warning people and saying where is fine.

There are things to learn here. Such as never renting any type of SUV due to the type of trunk. Try to park somewhere that has a guard stand if possible. I think I found the OPs lot and it didn't have one but I saw another did. Never leave money or passports behind. Never open the trunk in a non secure location. I don't know if the OP did or not. I am sure there are other things to learn. This might have just been bad luck.
sassy27 is online now  
Oct 8th, 2018, 03:01 PM
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Have been broken into twice in NYC right on busy streets. It can happen anywhere.
PalenQ is online now  
Oct 8th, 2018, 03:09 PM
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The never ever ever leave luggage in a trunk types remind me of my grandmother who said to me “if you hadn’t been driving that late at night that drunk driver would not have rear-ended you.”

Apparently saying things like that made her feel smart.

Last edited by xcountry; Oct 8th, 2018 at 03:17 PM.
xcountry is offline  
Oct 8th, 2018, 03:22 PM
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They may not have been able to prevent this theft, but they could have held on to their passports.
This forum is supposed to be for helping people, can't change history but others reading here might rethink what they leave in a rental car.
suze is online now  
Oct 8th, 2018, 04:08 PM
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Even Italian autostrada rest areas are at times scenes of thefts from cars. Best get car with a trunk separate from rest of car and things out of sight except few items that makes it look like your a local not on a trip around Italy.
PalenQ is online now  
Oct 8th, 2018, 07:28 PM
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I am that 'seasoned' traveler that sassy27 refers to above. Our car was burglarized while we stopped en route in Obidos on the way from Lisbon to points north. One thing I will add about our experience was that our car was 'broken' into because the thieves used a device that unlocked our car while we were within a short distance of the car. It's a whole other issue to deal with. Luckily we did have our passports with us, but admittedly we had left our passports in the car on occasion in the past. We learned a lot from that incident.
michele_d is offline  
Oct 8th, 2018, 09:21 PM
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Backing into a parking spot up against a wall helps so the trunk can't be opened. But I would never leave a passport or important things in the car.
joannyc is online now  
Oct 8th, 2018, 09:43 PM
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@ xcountry: I think I know your grandmother. Are we related?
kja is offline  
Oct 11th, 2018, 08:12 AM
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Read all the comment so far ... lots of focus on the Passports. It's just as easy to have your backpack, shoulder bag or purse stolen with your Passport in it. The Passports proved to be the easiest thing to recover in the whole awful mess. We did have copies of our Passports with us. Pisa is still a dangerous city. Very few security cameras. A police force that doesn't care and can't get a handle on the crime (remember, this came from the Embassy personnel). Even one of our guides in Tuscany warned us against Pisa. He said something to the effect that " the politics are a mess there." Maybe that translates as "there is a lot of crime there." I missed the translation. He tried to get us to go one of the small historical villages in Tuscany instead on our way to the airport, Should have listened.

... and looking in our darkly tinted Alpha Romeo SUV, one could not have seen anything. Would we have done something different if we had the opportunity? Yes, we would have spent more time trying to find a more visible parking spot.
mcurttravel is offline  
Oct 11th, 2018, 08:43 AM
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always carry passports in secure money belt that goes under outer clothing - always did and never had one stolen. Sorry for your travails and Pisa overall I do not think may be dangerous but areas near popular tourist attractions in any Italian places probably are - the Tower area is where thieves target folks because they know tourists in cars carry lots of stuff - I think they must have seen you getting out, etc.
PalenQ is online now  
Oct 11th, 2018, 08:48 AM
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We usually leave our Passports in our hotel safe, never on our person (except airport to hotel obviously) ... this was one rare time that we made a quick stop between hotel and airport ...
mcurttravel is offline  
Oct 11th, 2018, 09:32 AM
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I spent a couple of nights in Pisa and didn't feel "unsafe" at all in terms of my safety. I walked around at night with my expensive DSLR camera and tripod taking pictures. Never worried. It's a university town too not just a tourist town (the tourists are mostly gone by dusk). I have no doubt tourist cars in other cities are victims of theft, too.
Andrew is online now  
Oct 11th, 2018, 10:05 AM
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(2) Take all really valuable stuff with you in a day pack. Yes it's a bit of a pain to wear the backpack with the laptop, iPad, cameras, etc. but I'd rather do that than have them stolen.
This. I don't drive in Europe, I use public transport. On travel days (and on other days if my accommodation doesn't have a safe) I wear a money belt under my clothes with passport, ATM and credit cards, cash etc. On travel days my day pack, which doubles as a carry on for flights, has all my pharma and electronics, including my iPad. If I'm flying it holds a change of socks, underwear and top. My main bag stays at my hotel or in train station left luggage until I'm ready to move on or can check in. Yes, it's heavy and a pain, but the security is worth it.

I am sorry you had this disaster, but next time you will know to take precautions.
thursdaysd is online now  
Oct 11th, 2018, 04:31 PM
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The title of this thread really shouldn't be worded against Pisa. It should be advising people not to leave valuables in a car, especially a rental car, especially at a popular tourist destination.
suze is online now  
Oct 11th, 2018, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mcurttravel View Post
We usually leave our Passports in our hotel safe, never on our person (except airport to hotel obviously) ... this was one rare time that we made a quick stop between hotel and airport ...
I join all those who expressed their sympathies with you for having to undergo such an awful experience. I'll also add my voice to those who have noted that a passport should be ON your person, in an under clothing pouch, NEVER in a car, no matter how protected you think that car. If you plan to stop en route to an airport, keep it in your under-clothing pouch until you are actually at the airport, then use the WC to take the pouch off and put its contents in a safe place where you can readily access them. And note that some countries actually require you to have a passport with you at all times, so a hotel safe is not necessarily your best option, even when you don't expect to travel. I hope you take more appropriate precautions next time and I also hope that you never again need appropriate precautions.
kja is offline  
Oct 12th, 2018, 01:08 AM
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good grief... It was probably not a good idea to leave the passports, but some of you people are way too harsh on the OP.
It is not unusual to stop somewhere on the way to drop off the rental car.
please stop with the sanctimonious replies.
I understand that it can happen anywhere, but unfortunately this is something that happens throughout Europe. Rental cars are broken into with or without luggage visible.
We were warned against this in Portugal. Not just something that happens in Pisa.
millie2112 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2018, 01:34 AM
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Not just something that happens in Pisa.
That is the point made by many of the replies. It is not sanctimonious to point that out, nor to suggest that an unattended car is the last place to leave a passport and other valuables.

Theft from cars is hardly confined to Europe. The website for the neighborhood where I live in the US has regular posts from people whose cars have been "broken into". In the vast majority of cases the cars were unlocked, even though their owners were leaving money, electronics and even guns in them.

Last edited by thursdaysd; Oct 12th, 2018 at 02:21 AM.
thursdaysd is online now  
Oct 12th, 2018, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by millie2112 View Post
It is not unusual to stop somewhere on the way to drop off the rental car.
No it isn't, esp if you check out of a hotel at midday and your flight is not until the evening. I try to leave luggage at the hotel and pick up later, if that's not practical, I make sure I can see the rental car from where ever I am, eg in a restaurant with parking where I can see the car or if sightseeing, one of us will stay with the car. I won't leave the car unattended. Even if there is no luggage in the rental car, I leave nothing in it, not even a jacket. Unfortunately some rental cars still have the name of the rental company on the car for all to see and in some countries, the registration number for rented cars is different.
Odin is offline  
Oct 12th, 2018, 02:21 AM
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I wouldn't say this is a warning on Pisa but rather parking your car and leaving luggage inside it. I thought it was common sense or maybe my parents told me, i don't know. If I have luggage in the car, we drive straight to our location and if we stop, one person is with the car.
This is also something not unique to Pisa. My brothers coworker had all of their stuff stolen from their car in Oahu Hawaii while they left their stuff in the car to go parasailing. Honestly, it takes a little more time or is a little more inconvenient but better safe than sorry.
MaryAlex is offline  
Oct 12th, 2018, 06:05 AM
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Sorry I still find sometimes not leaving luggage in the trunk of a car impractical. What if you are alone and have no one to stay with the car? What if you will never go to that place again and someone misses on seeing the one thing? What if the location between the two hotels are hours not minutes? Should someone be driving around trying to find a left luggage place with the precious 2 hrs they have? I know some of you will say yes but that too can be impractical. To then skip the place? Sometimes that is impractical. None of us will all agree and that's fine. However posts like this do help. I know I learned years ago from here to never rent an SUV or any type of hatchback. I was given one once and had luggage. I refused it. It never occurred to me to back up against a fence or wall so thank you for that advice. Since this happened in Pisa, I will most certainly be more cautious when I go there next month but I refuse to drive in Europe and this is one reason why. To some of you that is impractical. Where I also keep my passport is impractical so I keep learning from these situations and I appreciate the warning and the replies.
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