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Old 06.08.2015, 23:45
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Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

Here's a bit of a rant, but also more of a public safety notice:

I was in Lausanne Gare today, with a rucksack and suitcase- all geared up for hiking in the mountains. Bought the ticket from the machine, bought some snacks from the boulangerie, and went off to the platform and found a quiet spot (I usually locate some place without people as I am generally wary of pickpockets).

Train arrives in a minute and there are many alighting. Remembering a thread here not so long ago, I patiently wait by the steps (although, with the benefit of hindsight), I remember feeling some people pressing from behind.
I climbed up (old train), found a nice seat- but wasn't certain if there is a luggage rack. So, I took my rucksack and walked down the aisle and found nothing. When I made myself comfortable in my seat, I noticed that my rucksack's zip was open. Frantically looked inside and looked around- but wallet/purse had disappeared.

I asked this woman (well dressed, reeking of perfume) on the parallel seat (the one who I remember as one of those pushing me) whether she saw anything (in English) and she was like "Pardon?". I tried in French and she couldn't reply.

Got off (case and all) and asked a man who had been waiting on the platform and he said that he didn't see anything as he was on his phone. Long and short, lost my wallet having all cards (credit x 2, debit, savings account cards, health insurance, id x 2, residence permit, loyalty cards, a good amount of cash, train ticket, and some little items that are personally super important. And also had to cancel my hotel room- and instead of the Matterhorn, I will be hiking around Lausanne organising all these cards and trying to figure out whether my losses can be covered (which I have asked separately elsewhere)!

The weird thing is that I am usually so aware of my surroundings, but I suppose that hunger and the heat made me rather complacent. Thus, informing all of my fellow EF-ers to be extra careful in Switzerland.

I watched these videos by Lausanne Police on how thieves operate. Some of the sites in the videos are places I frequent and would never consider unsafe (e.g. Globus, Portes St-Francois):
http://www.lausanne.ch/lausanne-offi...tion/vols.html
Lausannoises might recognise these places.
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Old 07.08.2015, 07:16
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

I came online to edit the above post further- to make it less of a rant and more of information. As I cannot find any edit button, I just wanted to add:
  • it is important not to be complacent, but to be alert at all times- not just at the station, but also at these other places where you are lulled into a false sense of security
  • As seen in the videos (and what probably happened yesterday), there are probably more than one pair of eyes observing you. In my case, I arrived at the station on the 3rd minute of an hour and found this out at the 17th minute of an hour (last seeing the wallet at the 10th minute).
  • The thieves may not be the scruffy ones, but the average boy/girl next door.

Last edited by vuachère; 07.08.2015 at 07:18. Reason: adding
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Old 07.08.2015, 08:28
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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. 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. Insurance will cover you but this is still a case of not doing the right thing in the first place.
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Old 07.08.2015, 09:18
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

I hope the bastards choke on the food they buy with your money.

Stories like this really annoy me. I don't think i know anyone, including myself, that this has not happened to.
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Old 07.08.2015, 09:46
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

Really sorry to hear about this - it's distressing nomatter where and when it happens...

Did you notify the Police? Maybe they have CCTV of the area?
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Old 07.08.2015, 10:41
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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, ...
I read this and thought "yeah, that's right". Then quickly moved my wallet out of my rucksack...
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Old 07.08.2015, 11:35
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

Just to add that there are also these crimes happening in Montreux station too operated by well dressed gangs dressed up like tourists, theyre obviously going to be on cctv at the stations and in trains going up and down the lines so every complaint to police is a step closer to catching these scum.

Best to report thefts Immediately by calling 117 so police can if necessary block exits of stations. The more complaints the more knowledge they will take and follow up with action (hopefully).
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Old 07.08.2015, 11:37
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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I read this and thought "yeah, that's right". Then quickly moved my wallet out of my rucksack...
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...

This is why I think going to the police would be a good thing - in fact an experienced policeman with access to CCTV should be able to identify the group pretty quickly, even if they may not have the actual theft on tape.
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Old 07.08.2015, 12:04
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

I really sympathise with you - having been in the same situation myself twice - the first time never seeing it again but the second time it was actually lost, someone found it and went to considerable lengths to get in touch with me.
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.
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Last edited by basher; 07.08.2015 at 12:07. Reason: Additional information added.
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Old 07.08.2015, 12:04
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

Since my wallet got stolen in my handbag on my baby's stroller, with everything inside, I'm now a lot more careful...

In my case it happened in La Halle aux chaussures near St. François (for the Lausannois).

I know keep my cash (which is what thieves want) separate from my cards in an other wallet.
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Old 07.08.2015, 12:20
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

Very sorry to hear about your 'loss'. Here's my pupence worth.


CH is gagging for it!!! 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 whilst the (still) owner is off in another area of the shop... I could go on and on and on and ... an gwaan (loved Father Ted).


They need to get real quickly


End of rant, stay safe y'all


and 'av a great weekend


GREG
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Old 07.08.2015, 13:13
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

Same thing happened to me at Zürich Hauptbahnhof a while ago.
Had been saving for a holiday and lost all my holiday money, train ticket, credit cards and and and. 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.
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Old 07.08.2015, 13:36
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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.
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Old 07.08.2015, 13:59
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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. I like jeans for the pockets. There are some nice hip bags (they called them fanny bags in the USA) that are useful but anyone can steal anything these days
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Old 07.08.2015, 14:39
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

I've also pointed out, numerous times, to ladies on the trams with their bags wide open and their wallets on show to close them. I use a ruck sack all the time, it's handy for shopping. But i wear it on my front.

But the "it will never happen to me" brigade still do it!!

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

Bum bags used to be great, but can easily be unclipped. 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.
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Old 07.08.2015, 14:45
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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Bum bags used to be great, but can easily be unclipped.

not the one I have, you can cut the strap at the back, hard if it's on tight though, but you can with a cross carry bag too
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Old 07.08.2015, 15:36
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

Sorry for your theft!
I know they sell theft-proof bags and rucksacks, with reinforced zippers and strengthened materials: you might try one of those, since simple bags can be sliced open in a second.
I'm just a little afraid they would probably draw more attention than a normal bag. And you still need to be always careful.
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Old 07.08.2015, 18:20
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

I was robbed on a train at the ZH HB; standing in the vestibule waiting for the doors to open. A woman with a baby in a buggy, obviously struggling, asked me to help her get the buggy down. Of course I obliged. And while helping her, her accomplice grabbed by bag and ran off.

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.
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Old 07.08.2015, 18:47
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Re: Thieves and Lausanne Train Station

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I was robbed on a train at the ZH HB; standing in the vestibule waiting for the doors to open. A woman with a baby in a buggy, obviously struggling, asked me to help her get the buggy down. Of course I obliged. And while helping her, her accomplice grabbed by bag and ran off.

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.
Awful!
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Old 07.08.2015, 19:00
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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. 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. Insurance will cover you but this is still a case of not doing the right thing in the first place.
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.
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