My Encounters With Pickpockets (1)

Beware of Pickpockets!
@MALUSE (41313)
Germany
October 27, 2017 12:16pm CST
Have you noticed the plural in my title? Sadly, I have to use it as I've encountered four in my life: I can divide the pickpocketing incidents into two groups. The first comprises the ones in which I was stupider than the police permit (as the Germans say). I practically invited the pickpockets to put their hands into my rucksack. Generally speaking, I'm not stupid, but when you read my account, you'll think that I am - or at least was in the respective situation. I'm still ashamed. --- My husband and I visited Lisbon. We went to Belem, a must-see part of the city, by tram. I love trams. As taxis aren't expensive in Portugal, I should have suppressed my love for trams and we should have taken a taxi. I had my rucksack on my back. The tram was packed full of Portuguese and tourists. I felt safe because I thought (if I thought something at all that is) that the many people would watch each other so-to-speak. If someone put their hands into someone else's handbag or rucksack, they'd surely cry out. What I didn't consider, however, was that pickpockets usually work in groups and the many friendly people around me probably all belonged to the same gang. My purse wasn't stolen, but my camera was. I didn't only lose the gadget but also the photos on it which I had taken during our stay. I could have bitten my back bottom. --- I visited a friend in Rome. One day I took a bus to the tourist attractions in the centre. Everybody knows that the bus lines running there are the working place of pickpockets. I didn't have my rucksack on my back, but I didn't have it on my chest, either. It was too heavy to carry it that way even for a short time. I put it on the floor between my legs. I needed both my hands to hold tight to the straps so that I wouldn't fall or sail diagonally through the bus. I'm convinced that Roman bus drivers work together with the pickpockets. They drive like mad. The centre of Rome is mainly flat, but they start, accelerate and stop as if they were driving on a mountain road. One is so concentrated on keeping upright that one can't also watch one's luggage. I know who put their hand into my rucksack and stole my purse. I realised it later when I recapitulated the scene. It was a gipsy woman who entered the bus through the middle door which is meant only for exiting. She had a bundle in her arms which was made up as if a baby was in it, but it was probably only the loot she had already accumulated. She sat down on the steps and was thusly on the same level as my rucksack. My purse contained money, not too much but more than I liked to lose and my passport. My friend's husband, ever an optimist, went to a police station with me to report the theft. He was sure that I wouldn't get my money back but maybe someone would find the purse with the passport in a bin and take it to a police station. No such luck, though. Another imaginary bite into my back bottom. Have you also been pickpocketed due to your own stupidity? Don't tell me that you're too smart for that. You were only lucky! You can never win against the masters of the trade.
22 people like this
20 responses
@Corbin5 (109662)
• United States
27 Oct
I have never been the victim of a pickpocket, but my mother's purse was stolen when my parents visited Paris.
4 people like this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
Tourist destinations are the workplace of pickpockets.
5 people like this
@sabtraversa (13348)
• Italy
27 Oct
Drivers drive that way because they think they drive faster, but reality is they're usually late. They should be more considerate towards passengers, definitely. I can't help but hold my purse tight when I see gypsies on a bus or train. I guess all the bad stereotypes sometimes come in handy. Sorry to hear about your experiences. These scoundrels only want the money but they end up taking stuff they consider to be trash while they may mean gold to us, such as documents or content stored in cameras.
4 people like this
@manandezo (670)
• Petropolis, Brazil
27 Oct
I've never been pickpocketed, but once I was severely spanked inside a bus by a gang of seven or eight trying to steal things from some people. I didn't see them coming from behind, as I was at the front part of the bus. They asked for my money and I got so nervous that I took out my wallet and there was only the money I took for the day to work and come back home (that is how we do in violent cities like Rio). The sad thing was that: if you don't have the money, we have your blood! And the spanking section began. I went to hospital to heal my wounds and I there was only one thought in my mind: I will leave this city, and I did! After living in Germany for 2 years to calm down my spirit, I returned to Brazil to a little tiny city of Petr├│polis and here I am happy and there is no such violence around here.
3 people like this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
Where in Germany did you live?
3 people like this
• Petropolis, Brazil
27 Oct
@MALUSE W├╝rzburg.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
@manandezo A pretty city! Did you drink Frankenwein?
2 people like this
@sharon6345 (131226)
• United States
27 Oct
I am glad you are aware f a few things you did wrong. I won't add to it for that reason. Many of which I would never do. In my case I was at the check cashing place. I made money orders for all bills. The mistake I made this one time in life. I did not sign my money orders. I was picked that day and it was the last. I use online banking after that.
3 people like this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
Yes, I got wiser after these encounters. Yours wasn't a nice experience, either!
2 people like this
@jstory07 (68322)
• Roseburg, Oregon
27 Oct
We use online banking for our bills to.
1 person likes this
@Daelii (5685)
• United States
27 Oct
I've never had anyone steal from me like itrms on me stuff. I pack light and careful. I however have had my house robed. :(
2 people like this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
Poor you! That is worse, of course. Did you lose much? Was the house vandalised?
3 people like this
@Daelii (5685)
• United States
27 Oct
@MALUSE I lost a ton. Sad thing is I knew the persons that robbed me. I thought to do a nice thing to let a few homeless people (related to me or related to my sisters boyfriend) live in my home while I lived elsewhere. They stole everything. Jewelry, coin collection (started by my great grandmother) to everything and anything nailed down or not. When I moved back and resumed living in my house it had to be completely gutted. Everything from floors to doors were destroyed. They even went thru my deceased mom and grandmother stuff and took everything of value. Tossing whatever they didn't want around. I've been trying to sort it and its hard. :(
2 people like this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
@Daelii Did you tell the police your suspicions and were the burglars caught?
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (163835)
• Switzerland
29 Oct
I also had encounter with pickpockets, well, more than that. It did not happen in Europe, but in Miami, we were there on vacation, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was 9 in the morning, we were in the garden of the hotel, near the pool. I told my husband that I forgot something in the bedroom and I was going to get it. Two guys (the looked like Jamaican) came out from nowhere, one grabbed my handbag. I resisted as much as I could. I lost my balance and badly hit my head on the ground. Well, I am here to tell the story, but our wedding celebration was ruined.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
29 Oct
You'll always think of this when you think of Florida! Did you lose important things like your passport?
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (163835)
• Switzerland
29 Oct
@MALUSE I always put the original documents in the safe of the room, I only had photocopies in my handbag, but I had my credit cards, some traveler checks and very little cash. I was able to block the credit cards and the traveler checks in the ten minutes following the accident. The police found my handbag (thrown from the car after they got what they judged interesting). I only lost the cash (no more than 50$) and a small alarm clock that was inside the bag.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
29 Oct
@LadyDuck Menomale!
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (39060)
• United States
27 Oct
I have not been pickpoketed. I was warned not to take the tram in Belem, we stayed in that area and walked or took the taxi. We usually travel during the winter months and I carry my credit card and money in the front pocket of my jeans and my purse I carry under my coat across my body. Hubs carries his wallet in an inside chest pocket iin his coat. I realize that we have been lucky, so many f my friends have been victims, it can happen anywhere at any time and yes, they do work in pairs or groups. They caught my friend Joe on the train in Poland.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
My husband once lost his briefcase when entering a train in Germany. He could describe the procedure precisely, only it didn't help him. There were three men. One bumped into him. The second man used the confusion and stole the briefcase. He gave it to No 3 who ran away with it. Most pickpockets come from the Balkan countries, i.e., the former Yugoslavia. I once read that there is a village in which only pickpockets live. They're expertly trained and work in the whole of Europe.
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (39060)
• United States
27 Oct
@MALUSE In Lisbon they told me it was the Rumanians. I would have loved to ridr the tram but felt for safety sake it was best not too. My hotel staff warned us.
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
@BelleStarr Romanians are from the Balkans. Many dirt poor gipsies live there. It's understandable that they steal - which is cold comfort if you're the victim.
2 people like this
@jstory07 (68322)
• Roseburg, Oregon
27 Oct
I keep my purse on me when I go somewhere and rarely have cash on me. Since we use debits cards everywhere we go.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
Debit cards can be stolen and copied. This has happened to a friend of ours.
2 people like this
@jstory07 (68322)
• Roseburg, Oregon
5 Nov
@MALUSE I have never lose my debt card which is good. I would drive right over to the bank and cancel if I did.
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
5 Nov
@jstory07 And if this happened abroad? In a country whose language you can't speak?
@peachpurple (12865)
• Malaysia
27 Oct
i was almost being pickpocket before, luckily my mom was quick thinking and screamed at the fella before he ran away
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
You were lucky. Obviously, this pickpocket was a beginner.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54507)
• United Kingdom
28 Oct
Yes, I've been lucky and not fallen victim to these thieves. They can be very clever.
1 person likes this
@TheSojourner (17442)
• United States
28 Oct
traveling, I have learned not to carry certain things in a rucksack. I carry my passportand any money in a pocket that goes against my body under my clothing. Although I have not had these that you describe however, I have had certain things that I locked up in my hotel rooms that were missing.
1 person likes this
@KrauseHome (35335)
• United States
28 Oct
Yrs ago I had a purse stolen with about $350 in it. I knew exactly who did it, and when even though they never opened up to doing it. Another time I had someone take my Tablet out of my bag on the bus, and then about a week later say if anyone tries to accuse me of anything I will break their hands. I turned it in to the Bus company when this happened but never heard anything.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126347)
• Bunbury, Australia
28 Oct
Vince had his wallet stolen in Austria. They are incredibly quick. We never knew a thing.
1 person likes this
@xFiacre (4589)
• Ireland
27 Oct
@maluse It amazes me that I've never been pickpockets.
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (14722)
• Germany
1 Nov
I was not a victim of pickpocket but of holdupper with a pistol in his hand pointing towards me in a Jeepney my friends and I rode when I was in the Philippines. I learned from that incident and hide my important things like passport and most of my money under my blouse when I am traveling. After that, every men who are inside the jeepney when I am traveling is a potential holdupper if not a pickpocketter. I wrote about this incident in Hubpages.
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
1 Nov
A frightening experience! Did you have to give him your handbag?
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (14722)
• Germany
2 Nov
@MALUSE no but my ring and my bracelet.
@suripunj (851)
• New Delhi, India
27 Oct
Glad to hear that i am not alone-i was pick pocketed even when i was alert. Once when mobile was pick pocketed ,my first feeling was to pick pocket other's.
@MALUSE (41313)
• Germany
27 Oct
You should have stolen the pickpocket's mobile, of course! Eye for an eye and so on.
1 person likes this
@suripunj (851)
• New Delhi, India
27 Oct
29 Oct
I have {thankfully} never had my pockets picked. I did see someone {another tourist in Czech Republic} get pickpocketed once, and although I wasn't much help as it all happened so quickly, I was able to tell her immediately and so she was able to put the necessities in place immediately.
@nanette64 (17711)
• Fairfield, Texas
28 Oct
It is a rarity that I even carry a purse @MALUSE . The wallet is in my hand or a snug pocket.
@pgntwo (21773)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
27 Oct
Whilst at least one of my credit cards has had fraudulent transactions registered against it, the card was in my possession at the time. Does that count?
@FayeHazel (18491)
• United States
27 Oct
Oh no. So sorry to hear that. SOme people. I either lost my camera or had it stolen in Las Vegas. I don't know which. lol. Maybe if I hadn't been drinking in the morning.