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  #41  
Old 13.04.2013, 23:29
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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So despite your protestations, your are Fosters Man.
I would not drink that rubbish if you paid me neither would anyone in australia since they stopped selling that blue can stuff 15 years ago, its only exported to europe to get rid of the crap stuff
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  #42  
Old 13.04.2013, 23:34
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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I would not drink that rubbish if you paid me neither would anyone in australia since they stopped selling that blue can stuff 15 years ago, its only exported to europe to get rid of the crap stuff
As I said - despite your protestations ......

You probably don't give a XXXX either.
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  #43  
Old 13.04.2013, 23:47
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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Beware of women (nice looking ones) who pull you to one side, and flash you with their boobs....
where? where ... ?
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  #44  
Old 13.04.2013, 23:56
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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I've sadly gotten to the point to where there is no reason for anyone to come up to me on the street any more and anyone within half a meter will be treated like a thief.
So this is why I always have such trouble asking for directions!
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  #45  
Old 14.04.2013, 09:57
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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the distraction one was EPFL to Flon, before the Vigile stop. Crowded metro and I was texting (not paying attention)

the other one was more blantant, on the 25 bus from Bourdonette. Guy clearly a bit off and maybe drunk, spitting a lot. No one else on bus. Should have kept our distance, but I didn't want to stereotype. Profiling would have saved me a run though

Time for both was about 8pm.
good to know thanks. actually friday that was exactly the commute my 12 year had- m1 to bourdonette bus 25. which he does occasionally, i also used to do this same commute when i worked in st sulpice and never had a problem. seems times are changing- and i tell him to do this commute to avoid changing at the flon, which is overrun with problems- try to have him avoid being there alone as much as i can. didnt the bus driver do anything, or say anything? sorry that happened and thanks for the info.
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  #46  
Old 14.04.2013, 10:05
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

is it legal to carry a knife with you in Switzerland?
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  #47  
Old 14.04.2013, 10:18
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

OH was targeted by a group of three or four kids under the age of ten or so while riding the up escalator out of the Barcelona subway. He felt them, turned and asked them what the hell they were doing, and they ran down the escalator and scattered.

So be aware also of any unusual actions on the part of seemingly harmless pre-adolescent kids, as well. They are learning their "trade" early these days!
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Old 14.04.2013, 10:24
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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is it legal to carry a knife with you in Switzerland?
Sure you can legally carry a knife, but to use "Rambo" style maybe not....
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  #49  
Old 14.04.2013, 10:54
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

With carrying a knife, make sure you never let it go otherwise the person will now have a weapon to use against you...

So better to not have any.
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Old 14.04.2013, 12:24
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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Don't know if this has been covered in other posts but it was new to me. In railway stations etc. I'm usually on guard against 'traditional' pick pockets: those who steal wallets by emptying pockets or open handbags.

Last weekend my wife and I were transiting Brussels Midi station, I had a suitcase and a small rucksack, the latter hanging off one shoulder. When we paused in front of the Metro counters, a guy suddenly said spoke behind me something like "Hey, you've got stuff all over your jacket" My wife looked and was shocked to find a horrible looking brown liquid dripping down my back. I took the jacket off, placed my sack on the ground, the guy appeared again with some paper towels, helped clean the jacket. I thanked him, he left, I looked down and - you guessed it - my sack was gone! Fortunately, the inconvenience was minimal - my wallet was in the inside of my jacket and I only lost a few personal bits and pieces. Apparently, this method is called 'distraction technique' and there are lots of variations.
The trick is not new but decades old. It is rather a "classic" method
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  #51  
Old 14.04.2013, 12:50
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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good to know thanks. actually friday that was exactly the commute my 12 year had- m1 to bourdonette bus 25. which he does occasionally, i also used to do this same commute when i worked in st sulpice and never had a problem. seems times are changing- and i tell him to do this commute to avoid changing at the flon, which is overrun with problems- try to have him avoid being there alone as much as i can. didnt the bus driver do anything, or say anything? sorry that happened and thanks for the info.
I really hope not to have worried you, again I think it was much more a crime of opportunity. He was sitting behind us (we were standing at the back rail in the standing section). Was a double-long bus, so maybe driver didn't see it. Fiance put iphone in outer jacket pocket. At first stop he grabbed it, she screamed, so I took off after him on reflex. Chased him a couple blocks screaming in English and Italian to stop the thief, call the police (along with some more colorful comments), but unfortunately can't speak French. Plenty of people out, but no one tackled him

We got to a driveway but by then my brain kicked in (bit dark, less people, he may be armed) so I took out phone and tried to call police (wrong number and got fire dept). He slunk into darkness but there was no exit (back garden). I kept my ground (blocked exit) and eventually he heard me calling, came back out and flicked me the phone and ran off. About 10-15 mins later we were walking to next bus stop and saw police car come by, I guess someone called for us. Couldn't flag them down.

I think (hope) if all valuables are buttoned up, it's not worth the effort for pickpockets. But if there is something shiny sitting right at their eye-line you are asking for trouble.
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  #52  
Old 14.04.2013, 13:29
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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I really hope not to have worried you, again I think it was much more a crime of opportunity. He was sitting behind us (we were standing at the back rail in the standing section). Was a double-long bus, so maybe driver didn't see it. Fiance put iphone in outer jacket pocket. At first stop he grabbed it, she screamed, so I took off after him on reflex. Chased him a couple blocks screaming in English and Italian to stop the thief, call the police (along with some more colorful comments), but unfortunately can't speak French. Plenty of people out, but no one tackled him

We got to a driveway but by then my brain kicked in (bit dark, less people, he may be armed) so I took out phone and tried to call police (wrong number and got fire dept). He slunk into darkness but there was no exit (back garden). I kept my ground (blocked exit) and eventually he heard me calling, came back out and flicked me the phone and ran off. About 10-15 mins later we were walking to next bus stop and saw police car come by, I guess someone called for us. Couldn't flag them down.

I think (hope) if all valuables are buttoned up, it's not worth the effort for pickpockets. But if there is something shiny sitting right at their eye-line you are asking for trouble.
wow that's crazy, but thanks for the info. i never go into that second bus of the double. just seems creepier. glad you got the phone back though.
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  #53  
Old 15.04.2013, 08:47
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

"Excuse me sir, a dog just pooped on your shoe, I will help you to clean it off".

That was one that a pickpocket tried on me in Rio. I did not look down, just said "Obligado" and walked to the nearest hotel. In the WC I removed the nut paste that someone had quite expertly spat upon my shoe. It was a common ruse in Rio. The team did not have time to get to my wallet.

In the Paris Metro, a group of unkempt youths surrounded me and one asked the time, at the same time I could feel a hand on my bum. I simply said go pick someone else's pocket.

In Rome a woman in colourful ethnic dress (not Italian) lifted her blouse as her "children" approached. I stepped far away.

Sadly, in public places in many large cities you must be vigilant. When there, I carry a second, obvious wallet where it can be easily "lifted". It is stuffed with slips of paper.

Too bad that this is happening more frequently in Switzerland.
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  #54  
Old 22.04.2013, 11:49
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

It happens in Switzerland too.

My husband had his jacket pocket picked on the train from Basel to Zurich airport a few weeks ago. The wallet was handed in in Geneva- the credit cards returned but not cash and personal items.
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  #55  
Old 02.09.2013, 23:11
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

I know this post has not been used for a while but...This morning while boarding a train in Baden my husband was stopped by a very well dressed man. He asked if the train he was boarding was for Zurich. My husband answered his question and at the same time a guy was barging at my husband to get by. When my husband sat down he noticed his bag was open and his wallet was gone! When we notified our bank they told us the guy must have been following my husband and had seen him use the card and his pin, they then went on to empty our account! Nice start to a Monday!?!

I just wanted to warn everyone to be on the look out...they are quick and efficient and I would hate anyone else to have to go through all the hassle that goes with canceling all your cards and stuff!

Keep safe!
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  #56  
Old 02.09.2013, 23:46
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

This happened to me in Paris-- Watch out for Clipboards!

Clipboards
Someone with a clipboard will come up to you asking you to sign a petition. They are usually young, work in pairs or gangs and are rife around the tourist hotspots such as The Louvre, Eiffel Tower etc. Make sure that if anyone with a clipboard approaches you that you keep hold of your belongings where you can see them. This is a distraction technique they use, one person will try to get you to sign a petition whilst the other going into your pockets or bag.


Source: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...ckpockets.html
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  #57  
Old 02.09.2013, 23:51
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

It's terrible!!!

To avoid this to others, make sure you hide your PIN number at all time, no matter where you are when doing any kind of transaction using your card. Hide it with your hand, you phone or your wallet while entering your PIN number. Never walk with your bag behind you but always in front and close to you. Put your wallet deep down the bag so it can't be grabbed easily. Keep the minimum cash into your wallet and hide the money somewhere else.

I hope you didn't have to much money in your account. Maybe you can switch the amount by ATM for a lower maximum one can withdraw per day to lose the minimum possible if it happens again. (Finger crossed it won't)
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  #58  
Old 03.09.2013, 07:54
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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This happened to me in Paris-- Watch out for Clipboards!

Clipboards
Someone with a clipboard will come up to you asking you to sign a petition. They are usually young, work in pairs or gangs and are rife around the tourist hotspots such as The Louvre, Eiffel Tower etc. Make sure that if anyone with a clipboard approaches you that you keep hold of your belongings where you can see them. This is a distraction technique they use, one person will try to get you to sign a petition whilst the other going into your pockets or bag.


Source: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...ckpockets.html
These guys were everywhere in Paris, especially around St. Michel, when I was there just 6 weeks ago. Fortunately nothing happened because I was warned ahead of time by a colleague - her boyfriend had his passport lifted, and another time she had to literally hold her bag and kick away a kid who was part of a crowd that had surrounded her. She said they target Russian and Chinese tourists specifically, probably because they are easily identifiable and in high numbers (she's Russian).
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Old 03.09.2013, 11:44
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

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This happened to me in Paris-- Watch out for Clipboards!

Clipboards
Someone with a clipboard will come up to you asking you to sign a petition. They are usually young, work in pairs or gangs and are rife around the tourist hotspots such as The Louvre, Eiffel Tower etc. Make sure that if anyone with a clipboard approaches you that you keep hold of your belongings where you can see them. This is a distraction technique they use, one person will try to get you to sign a petition whilst the other going into your pockets or bag.


Source: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...ckpockets.html
Someone approached me when I way busy filling in some forms in down town Zug yesterday. He pointed at something on a clipboard and didn't speak. As he walked away, I saw another lady walking along at the same pace so she would have been right behind where I was sitting at the time he came up to me with the clipboard.

It didn't seem that dodgy at the time, but thinking about it, while I was looking at the clipboard he bent forward and he was hiding his hand with the clipboard. Now I realise he might have been trying to get to something in my handbag that was at my feet. Thankfully, it was zipped up.
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Old 03.09.2013, 12:03
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Re: Pickpockets using Distraction Techniques

I just wanted to add on our experience
Had booked an apparthotel for our holidays in Barcelona
While checking in , payment was 354 euro
Hubby ask me to give him the cash.
I take out 7* 50 notes and hand over
Our toddler is busy climbing the stairs and I run behind her
He counts and hand over to the manager
Then he take out the coins
Meanwhile , the manager says , this is only 300 and immediately spreads the six fifty notes on the table
There was no option but hand over another 50
Both of us are sure we handed over 7 fifty euro notes.
Since landing in barcelona it was only in the reception room that we opened our purses
All the transport cards were booked online.
Later in our room ,We counted and recounted the total cash we had taken to Barcelona and one fifty was missing.
The manager , with a slight of the hand , had conveniently nicked one of the 50 euros
We were so apprehensive of the pickpockets and bag snatchers, it was a shock to be ripped off our own hotel manager.
And our lasting impression of the trip was him warning us every day morn at the front desk ,hitting the posterior jeans pocket - beware of pickpockets
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