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  #21  
Old 07.08.2015, 19:08
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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I know the requirements for passport
There is no such requirement in many cases, whatever you think it may be.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auswei...chweiz_und_USA

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auswei...chweiz_und_USA
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  #22  
Old 07.08.2015, 20:50
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

Once after work in Basel, my husband went to his car parked on the street near the Aeschenplatz tram stop. He opened the driver door, put his work & personal cell phones in the center console cup holder. Then he opened the rear door to put his briefcase on the backseat and in that second, someone reached into his front seat, picked up the two phones & ran off down the street. My husband chased after him & I guess he was startled and he dropped both phones and kept running.
My point is, people are always watching & looking for even a slight opportunity. Even in Switzerland.
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  #23  
Old 07.08.2015, 21:45
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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Don't want to be harsh, but in any city, your wallet/purse has no business being slung on your back in a rucksack, or even a handbag.
True. These are usually in a crossbody bag- but, as I was travelling alone & the train is prehistoric, it seemed sensible to reduce the number of items.

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Female or male, it should be either in a front pocket of your trousers/skirt/whatever where you can feel it if it moves, or better, in a pocket under your shirt/blouse/whatever.
And take my shirt/blouse off every time I need to take it out?
Perhaps this is easier done in autumn/winter than in temperatures of +28 degrees. This would then also necessitate buying everything beforehand- tickets, food, etc. As for the former, it was one of the bigger types, leather, and lots of space for cards- may have given the impression that there might be more to gain in pilfering it (and wouldn't fit into a pocket for sure). Perhaps another moral of the story is to find a very understated one that doesn't stand out.

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I hope the bastards choke on the food they buy with your money.
Thanks for the thought, Patsycat. I would rather it was stolen by someone with a genuine need as opposed to these professionals and idle people who are too lazy to work.

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Did you notify the Police? Maybe they have CCTV of the area?
Yes, immediately as the police station is on the next platform. I got the impression that this is a frequent occurrence. From my pov, the CCTVs should help, but I have no idea how the police conduct their investigation here. I visited them today to see if they could correct a few errors in their report (the time, the area, and two other things that weren't mentioned), but was told it was already being "treated" (and so cannot).

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It's not really the fact that the wallet was in the rucksack, I think in this case it was more the fact that the OP was probably taking the wallet out and putting it back in the rucksack while buying the tickets and snacks - and the thieves were most likely watching and then followed her to the train - seeing that she was alone too....
I do believe that this is precisely what happened.

During my "hikes" around town today, I heard something weird (in front of Lausanne Gare and in Rue Haldimad)- short & subtle whistles (not wolf whistles!), from no obvious person, but in a certain pattern (like signalling in the mountains when you need help- but not the same frequency), and being repeated from another part of the area. Perhaps I am thinking too much, but the thought did cross my mind that they could use such tactics to communicate: "Here's one good for the picking"?

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Just to add that there are also these crimes happening in Montreux station too operated by well dressed gangs dressed up like tourists.
I suppose I was shallow enough to think that scruffy = threat. Look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTUkWmvT4ak
The thieves are seemingly well-dressed, wearing exactly the kind of outfit you see in that area (lots of bankers). I wouldn't be surprised (benefit of hindsight) if the woman I mentioned had a role to play ...


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This may sound a bit stupid, as it was almost certainly thieves at work, but is there any chance that you could have dropped it or that you did not actually close your rucksack and it could have fallen out? What I mean is that as an outside chance, maybe you should go to the lost and found office - there is the very remote possibility that someone found it.
I am sorry to hear that you have been through this.
And, yes, I did consider that possibility. I normally tie a knot with the two zip tags, I can't recollect if I did this at the bakery. Even then, there was sufficient time when waiting to get into the train that it could have been untied.
I have registered this with the lost & found of both SBB/TL and the Police.

Last edited by vuachère; 07.08.2015 at 23:11. Reason: adding replies to Hausamsee, dandi, basher
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  #24  
Old 07.08.2015, 23:17
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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I know keep my cash (which is what thieves want) separate from my cards in an other wallet.
Sorry to hear that you faced this too.
Yes, this sounds like such a good idea. Perhaps also carrying only the minimum needed and (if more) dividing it across the bags you carry (or better still, the travel companions).

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How many times have I told people not to just go off and leave their Phone, Wallet and Car Keys just lying on the table. All the balcony windows and doors are left open whilst they're all at work. Trollies left half full with the handbag and wallet in full view...
We remain blind to the dangers because we don't think like these thieves. My neighbours across the quad on the 1st floor sleep with their balcony door (leading to the living room) open. I have (in the past) left my door unlocked when sprinting down to check mail or do laundry or throw the trash out.

The conclusion is that one must be cautious at all times.

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It is not only the loss, but the sense of violation as well as anger at having been targeted. I know what you are going through and how you feel and am desperately sorry.
Thank you for empathising! I have also been feeling rather foolish...

For the benefit of anyone who are unfortunate enough to end up in this predicament: your bank should let you draw money from your account if you show them the police report and an id (even a copy should suffice).

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Before you leave home, have your EC card and/or enough cash for the ticket and food in your front pocket away from your wallet/purse that is put away at the bottom of the rucksack (that is LOCKED).

If you have an inside pocket/slot in the backpack, put your valuables at the bottom of it. Much harder to access than a wallet on top of all the other stuff in the bag.

Carry the backpack on the front when you are in these situations.

DO NOT line up at the train with all the other people. The thieves need contact to work. This can only happen when lots of people around and contact "is to be expected" when people start to board. Wait on your own, on the bench etc. and enter the train in one movement when everyone else is on.

Sorry to hear about your misfortune but this is typical of the train stations, trains and airports in the Swiss French area. Gangs work these areas all summer long.
Thank you, Verbier, for all these pointers. Yes, essentially carrying minimal accessible cash and keeping the rest under lock and key.

I am very much guilty of the queuing up for a variety of reasons (finding a nice seat, space for the case, having sufficient time to board,.... ). As they say, better to be safe than sorry.

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I know the requirements for passport (the UK does not do an ID) but I don't carry mine, I'm scared enough with my phone/money in the bag, I think you have the bare cards/papers. (or copies) so if something is stolen the damage is the least.
True. Another lesson is not carrying all these extra cards. The question then is where is it most safe? There was a break-in recently in my building and I was thinking that these are safer with me...

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I use a ruck sack all the time, it's handy for shopping. But i wear it on my front.

It's sad that we have to be so vigilant all the time.

[...] And these guys work in groups. And they are getting better, dressing better and not looking as dodgy as they did a few years ago.
True. Is it possible heavy weight in front? (around 6-8 kgs in this case)

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I know they sell theft-proof bags and rucksacks, with reinforced zippers and strengthened materials.
I'm just a little afraid they would probably draw more attention than a normal bag. And you still need to be always careful.
I would be in the market for one with spines (porcupine, cactus) or stinging nettles.

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According to the police the pair had done this to several people. Who is so cold hearted as to refuse to help a woman and baby? Perfect distraction technique.
Sorry to read this happened to you. And what did the woman do?

I often complain about how people don't offer help here (e.g. with cases, trolleys)- and I am fast seeing why. This is possibly going to be make me wary in helping people too- lifting prams or shopping bags or cases or giving directions and change.

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Ditto on this, if your wallet is not on your person and is instead in a separate object that can be more easily removed from you then it is simply asking for trouble.

However OP sorry to hear you had this problem, and I hope you get some things back at least! The thieves may well take the cash and drop the wallet somewhere.
Yes. Have learnt my lesson.
SBB was of the opinion that I would get the wallet back (without the cash). My bank also informed me that there were no attempts to use my cards. Supposedly, the ATMs will eat these up if they try.

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My point is, people are always watching & looking for even a slight opportunity. Even in Switzerland.
Yes. They are plain evil.
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Old 08.08.2015, 02:26
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

CCTV still isn't prevalent in older looking stations and I'm not sure the public here is going to approve of it... I had a suitcase stolen while the train waited in Geneva on a Sunday morning on my way back from the airport because it was in those designated luggage spots and there was no CCTV to request. Lausanne is due for a massive upgrade over the next decade, so it might be added.


Trust No One is an obvious view when in a station but it gets complicated far too quickly. I know undershirt pouches are hard in summer but if you have them around belly button level it can't be too embarrassing to reach for, at least for credit cards and other precious items.

And no I wouldn't be surprised if their are "catcalls" from cattlewatchers going on around the station to get thieves to position themselves on potential targets. The police station there looks like they barely have things under control.
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Old 08.08.2015, 06:32
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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Sorry to read this happened to you. And what did the woman do?

I often complain about how people don't offer help here (e.g. with cases, trolleys)- and I am fast seeing why. This is possibly going to be make me wary in helping people too- lifting prams or shopping bags or cases or giving directions and change.
The woman melted into the crowd - these two were obviously professionals.

Theft is indeed a problem in Switzerland, made even more so by Swiss society's refusal to acknowledge that a problem exists. We tell tourists, and we tell ourselves, that we don't have to worry 'cause 'This Is Switzerland!'.

People here cling stubbornly to the myth of Switzerland as a safe haven, as if by sticking one's collective head in the sand problems will magically disappear.

What that attitude results in is easy pickings. Pick pocketing at a Swiss train station, a festival, a crowded street is child's play for practiced thieves, as most people here are - often willfully - without the 'street smarts' needed to protect themselves.

I come from Chicago; when I arrived here my street radar was honed razor sharp. I've lived all over the world, yet the only places I've been robbed were in Switzerland - and then twice! Yep, I too had let my guard down, fallen into the 'safe Switzerland' myth as is so easy, so comforting, to do here. More fool me.

I understand the need to cling to the past, to cling to the myth. We want to think that Switzerland is special, that it is immune from the troubles of the rest of the world. We don't want to live in a world where we have to be suspicious of a mom and baby who ask for help.

But sadly that is the world in which we live, even in Switzerland.
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Old 08.08.2015, 09:21
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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The woman melted into the crowd - these two were obviously professionals.

Theft is indeed a problem in Switzerland, made even more so by Swiss society's refusal to acknowledge that a problem exists. We tell tourists, and we tell ourselves, that we don't have to worry 'cause 'This Is Switzerland!'.

People here cling stubbornly to the myth of Switzerland as a safe haven, as if by sticking one's collective head in the sand problems will magically disappear.

What that attitude results in is easy pickings. Pick pocketing at a Swiss train station, a festival, a crowded street is child's play for practiced thieves, as most people here are - often willfully - without the 'street smarts' needed to protect themselves.

I come from Chicago; when I arrived here my street radar was honed razor sharp. I've lived all over the world, yet the only places I've been robbed were in Switzerland - and then twice! Yep, I too had let my guard down, fallen into the 'safe Switzerland' myth as is so easy, so comforting, to do here. More fool me.

I understand the need to cling to the past, to cling to the myth. We want to think that Switzerland is special, that it is immune from the troubles of the rest of the world. We don't want to live in a world where we have to be suspicious of a mom and baby who ask for help.

But sadly that is the world in which we live, even in Switzerland.



BUT there is NO Swiss society's refusal to acknowledge that a problem exists.but the Problem with pickpockets is a permanent Topic of People in the roads as well as in the media, at least in Zürich. And police at Zch Airport warns in 5 languages about the danger of pickpockets. The Problem is that People when travelling are absorbed by various considerations ..............................
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Old 08.08.2015, 09:55
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

If you get to paraonoiac, you'll end up either not going out or not enjoying it.

You just got to be careful and use common sense
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Old 08.08.2015, 09:56
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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The woman melted into the crowd - these two were obviously professionals.

Theft is indeed a problem in Switzerland, made even more so by Swiss society's refusal to acknowledge that a problem exists. We tell tourists, and we tell ourselves, that we don't have to worry 'cause 'This Is Switzerland!'.

People here cling stubbornly to the myth of Switzerland as a safe haven, as if by sticking one's collective head in the sand problems will magically disappear.

What that attitude results in is easy pickings. Pick pocketing at a Swiss train station, a festival, a crowded street is child's play for practiced thieves, as most people here are - often willfully - without the 'street smarts' needed to protect themselves.

I come from Chicago; when I arrived here my street radar was honed razor sharp. I've lived all over the world, yet the only places I've been robbed were in Switzerland - and then twice! Yep, I too had let my guard down, fallen into the 'safe Switzerland' myth as is so easy, so comforting, to do here. More fool me.

I understand the need to cling to the past, to cling to the myth. We want to think that Switzerland is special, that it is immune from the troubles of the rest of the world. We don't want to live in a world where we have to be suspicious of a mom and baby who ask for help.

But sadly that is the world in which we live, even in Switzerland.
The "Swiszerland is a crimeless haven" is a myth perpetrated only by clueless expats with no common sense. It is a country with cities and towns. Cities and towns have crime. Full stop.

I know a policeman and he tells me that there is a lot of petty crime in Switzerland, more so in recent years as immigration has soared but it has always been there in some form. The difference is that the crime we are all used to in our home countries of a more overt and violent nature is in much smaller amounts here, because the criminals know that if they do that kind of crime the police will come down on them like a ton of bricks. With petty theft, generally no-one is physically hurt and the people around don't see it and kick up a fuss and so the chances of being caught are far, far less.

The sooner people stop hanging on to this ludicrous notion that there is no crime in Switzerland then the more careful they will hopefully be and the less thieves will be successful. However, versus the UK and other mainland European countries the situation here is still infinitely better.
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Old 08.08.2015, 10:32
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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A few suggestions as others have mentioned around the subject of not showing the thieves where you keep your wallet, money etc.

Before you leave home, have your EC card and/or enough cash for the ticket and food in your front pocket away from your wallet/purse that is put away at the bottom of the rucksack (that is LOCKED). If they can't see the wallet purse, they will choose someone else.

If you have an inside pocket/slot in the backpack, put your valuables at the bottom of it. Much harder to access than a wallet on top of all the other stuff in the bag.

Carry the backpack on the front when you are in these situations.

DO NOT line up at the train with all the other people. The thieves need contact to work. This can only happen when lots of people around and contact "is to be expected" when people start to board. Wait on your own, on the bench etc. and enter the train in one movement when everyone else is on.

Sorry to hear about your misfortune but this is typical of the train stations, trains and airports in the Swiss French area. Gangs work these areas all summer long.
Best thing to do is to make sure your money is on your person or at the bottom of your bag which is on your person. I prefer zippable bags rather than those with a flap that simply folds over the opening, because the zippers can make things safer.

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If you get to paraonoiac, you'll end up either not going out or not enjoying it.

You just got to be careful and use common sense
Also before withdrawing money from an ATM/paying for something with a card outdoors e.g. at SBB/paying for something with a card in a store:
If someone is standing too close to you, ask them to take a step back and don't remove your card from your bag or start using it before they have done so. During the transaction and the following stowing away of your money/card/receipt, do not let yourself be distracted no matter what happens. A jacket soaked in muck thrown by a possible thief can be dealt with 5 minutes later when your money/cards are safely stowed away.

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Thank you, Verbier, for all these pointers. Yes, essentially carrying minimal accessible cash and keeping the rest under lock and key.

I am very much guilty of the queuing up for a variety of reasons (finding a nice seat, space for the case, having sufficient time to board,.... ). As they say, better to be safe than sorry.

True. Another lesson is not carrying all these extra cards. The question then is where is it most safe? There was a break-in recently in my building and I was thinking that these are safer with me...
I do queue up, but while doing so never stand still. This can make it harder for someone to grab something.

As for extra cards, I asked Globus if they have stickers (like Migros does) to stick on your other cards rather than a separate Globus card. When they said no, I refused their membership card.

If someone nags me about taking too long to unpack my money, that is their problem, not mine.
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  #31  
Old 08.08.2015, 11:40
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

This pisses me off. I wish that more of these thieves get caught in the act and the public beats them up in front of everyone.

Remember this video? Love it!


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Old 08.08.2015, 12:25
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

OP I'm sorry this has happened to you, but as others have said, and I'm sure yo will too in the future, rucksacks in busy places are asking to be raided. If I'm wearing one, I'm also wearing a zipped cross body bag with my valuables - for easy access, but also I hold it tight when in a crowd. Although same happened to a friend of mine in the south of France, walking down the road. She noticed someone had walked up behind her and brushed past, fairly empty street, her valuables in her rucksack had gone.

In Basel there are lots of opportunists. Michael B01's video reminds me of the time I went back to my locked bike in Marktplatz, dozens of people around, put my bag in the basket on the back, looped the strap round the saddle post like I always do (no-one can pinch it while I'm riding past), went to unlock the front wheel and a young man started asking me how to get to somewhere. His german wasn't good, I tried to help him. Then he switched where he wanted to get to, I smelt a rat and sure enough, his mate was walking off with my bag. At that point my fury at the deceit overtook and I legged it after him screaming profanities at the top of my lungs - full adrenaline rush. They dropped the bag and ran off - past the police station - my legs couldn't keep up with the adrenaline, I nearly fell over, stopped picked up the bag, all intact thankfully. Then I realised my bike was unlocked and a third could be trying to nick that so went back to it. Then rode around Basel looking for them and/or a policeman, unsuccessfully. Adrenaline and fury still pumping, it's lucky I didn't find them, I would have laid into them though in my right mind I would never, never recommend tackling a thief, you never know if they have a knife or whatever - the girl in the video aimed a good kick, but she was lucky (or trained).

Having lived in and around a major British city (no names, no stereotyping!) for 20 years (also having been attacked in a sleepy geriatric seaside town in my early 20s), whenever I go back to the UK my street smarts kick back in, but you still need them here I realised. You get used to it, you don't have to get depressed about it, and you feel a little bit more secure if you're prepared.
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Old 08.08.2015, 15:08
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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CCTV still isn't prevalent in older looking stations and I'm not sure the public here is going to approve of it...
Sorry to read that your case got stolen. I'll keep an eye out for the CCTVs when I am at gare next.

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I know undershirt pouches are hard in summer but if you have them around belly button level it can't be too embarrassing to reach for, at least for credit cards and other precious items.
For women as well?

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The police station there looks like they barely have things under control.
They just seemed stoic. A bit annoying also that I couldn't edit the report they filed, at least under some category of extra information.

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We don't want to live in a world where we have to be suspicious of a mom and baby who ask for help.

But sadly that is the world in which we live, even in Switzerland.
Or aged men and women, as well as those who are disabled. How then can we distinguish the genuine from the fake?

Thanks for the video, Michael_b01. I should probably sign up for the martial arts courses. planetali, yes, perhaps not to put our guard down at any time. I am hoping that the EF-ers (and the guests) reading this thread would take sufficient precautions.
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Old 08.08.2015, 15:31
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

I had my wallet stolen from me a few years ago in luzern, I chased the guy across the wooden bridge, caught up with him, searched him, but he had already passed it to his buddy who was walking the other way. He was clearly the culprit and not a very good liar, I took a photo of him using my phone and told him I wanted my wallet to be returned to the police station or his photo would be circulated around. few days later got a letter from luzern police saying they had my wallet. When i went to pick it up nothing was missing, but the police would not release it unless I "pay" them something (i think they call it a finders fee), so I gave them a lunch voucher which was all I had...very strange.
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Old 08.08.2015, 15:45
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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I had my wallet stolen from me a few years ago in luzern, I chased the guy across the wooden bridge, caught up with him, searched him, but he had already passed it to his buddy who was walking the other way. He was clearly the culprit and not a very good liar, I took a photo of him using my phone and told him I wanted my wallet to be returned to the police station or his photo would be circulated around. few days later got a letter from luzern police saying they had my wallet. When i went to pick it up nothing was missing, but the police would not release it unless I "pay" them something (i think they call it a finders fee), so I gave them a lunch voucher which was all I had...very strange.
Hinzu kommt, dass Bargeldfinder den Finderlohn tatsächlich gleich an sich nehmen dürfen. «Unter Juristen herrscht weitgehende Einigkeit darüber, dass Finder ein Verrechnungsrecht haben», sagt Rechtsprofessorin Eva Maria Belser von der Uni Freiburg, Autorin eines Kommentars zum Finderlohn. «Konkret heisst das: Findet man Bargeld, muss man nur herausgeben, was nach Abzug des Finderlohns verbleibt.»

Translation: If you find money, you only have to give its owner the amount found minus the finder's fee.

From here

And the law
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  #36  
Old 16.08.2015, 14:08
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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CCTV still isn't prevalent in older looking stations and I'm not sure the public here is going to approve of it... .
Finally looked around today (have been avoiding the station ) and found quite a few (old) CCTVs on platform 1, as well as a big round one on the underground passage. Couldn't spot any on the other platforms (will check again), but a more noticeable police presence on the platforms.

Last edited by vuachère; 16.08.2015 at 14:44. Reason: adding that it is police presence...
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  #37  
Old 16.08.2015, 14:18
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

We have just been advised of yet another new scam : would-be thieves give out "free" key-rings at petrol pumps [apparently they are Romanian but this has to be verified] which have a homing device buried in the centre. The thieves are then able to track the device to see where one lives and when one goes in and out = open season for burlaries. So the person who advised of this scam says do not accept any tokens, key-rings et al under any circumstances.
What will they think of next?
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  #38  
Old 16.08.2015, 14:25
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

CCTV doesn't help the individual that's been stolen from. It would be great though if there were enough staff to monitor what's shown and catch the buggers in the act.
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Old 16.08.2015, 15:26
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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We have just been advised of yet another new scam : would-be thieves give out "free" key-rings at petrol pumps [apparently they are Romanian but this has to be verified] which have a homing device buried in the centre. The thieves are then able to track the device to see where one lives and when one goes in and out = open season for burlaries. So the person who advised of this scam says do not accept any tokens, key-rings et al under any circumstances.
What will they think of next?
Except, that according to Snopes, and by any reasonable measurement of common sense - this is an urban myth.

But keep on hiding from those nasty men handing out secret squirrel keyrings.
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  #40  
Old 16.08.2015, 15:36
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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We have just been advised of yet another new scam : would-be thieves give out "free" key-rings at petrol pumps [apparently they are Romanian but this has to be verified] which have a homing device buried in the centre. The thieves are then able to track the device to see where one lives and when one goes in and out = open season for burlaries. So the person who advised of this scam says do not accept any tokens, key-rings et al under any circumstances.
What will they think of next?
The Rumanians are ok. It's the Greeks you've got to watch...
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