City Smarts

Being smarter than the pickpockets is easy enough. It takes more than keeping your bags in sight since most pickpockets don’t care if you see them snatching as long as they think they can run faster than you. So the goal is to attach your bags to yourself. Do not leave your purse on the floor under the table or on the back of the chair. Rather throw it over your knee or slip your foot through the strap. If your bags are too big or too many to attach to yourself, then attach them to each other in arms reach of you at all times.

  • lock your important travel documents in a safe or wear them close to your heart
  • do not keep your money, credit cards or transportation tickets in the same place as your travel documents, by accessing them regularly in public you jeopardize the security of anything you keep near them
  • always keep a scanned copy of your travel documents accessible online
  • choose a satchel that you can zip closed and hug under your arm when you find yourself in a crowd
  • anything in your backpack will be stolen, yes especially while you’re wearing it, because then you can not identify which child is the culprit
  • do not use cherished electronic gadgets in a crowd
  • do not pick up loose change off the ground
  • do not accept gifts (ie: rings, bracelets, etc…) just keep walking with a determined stride
  • attach a jingle bell to the zipper pull of your satchel to further deter prying fingers, or identify/follow your bag if it’s lifted in a crowd
  • feed homeless people with food, not money
  • don’t sign the “fake” petition shoved in your face by the not-so-deaf-and-mute girls who are underage to panhandle in the first place and answer their cell phones every five minutes
  • in Paris at least, the street gangs are often teens and pre-teens dressed like gypsies
  • Châtelet-les-halles alone sees 1654 thefts a year


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.