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they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

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Nice
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they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

Yesterday i came across a pickpocket group of girls on the tram. Unfortunately for them, they picked on my my elderly father in law. when i was with him.

it was the classic dodge where someone nips in ahead of everyone getting on a bus or train and prevents forward movement of the passengers while the accomplices squeeze up in behind and try and pick any pockets or bags in the confusion.

The ringleader girl had nipped in in front of me and very deliberately prevented forward movement. My attempts at trying to get past politely were expertly blocked. I looked down to see her hand was covered by a jacket in the classic pickpocket variation of the waiters towel -intended to alow the pickpocket to fiddle with folk's belongings unseen.

I shoved past her which unblocked the path and turned to my FIL to check on him and said pickpockets [i should have shouted this to alert the whiole tram but it was all too fast] -at which pickpocket number one signalled to her crew and escaped My FILs wallet was half out of his pocket but they were more concerned that they had been rumbled to try and take any loot.

[he had been told about the riskiness of wallets in back pockets but had accidently put it bnback there since its his usual habit]

unfortunately for the rest of Nice, everything happened to quickly to call the police.or get a decent description.

Edited: 19 September 2010, 10:17
Northern Ireland
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1. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

Thanks for the warning - i'll be in Nice next week with Mum...Will keep our wits about us!!!

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

It can happen in any major city anywhere in Europe. At least you do not get threatened with a knife or gun.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

Selkie, thanks for that post. Too often we see locals say "It doesn't happen to us" with the implication being it doesn't happen at all. I know from personal experience it does happen and is devastating, especially if you lose valuables and identification on holiday. Just take particular care and always keep several levels of security between your valuables and the outside world.

Lynn

Marathon, Florida
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for Marathon, Islamorada
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4. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

Thanks for the reminder!

Glad your FIL still has his wallet.

California
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5. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

Thank you for the warning. We'll be Nice tomorrow afternoon. We've been planning our trip for over a year and are looking forward to a wonderful time. Will definitely try to be on the alert.

Nice
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6. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

live in Nice full tome and i know that the risks of violent crime are very low -however i just hadn't seen the pincer dodge before in Nice and thought it worth giving people a heads up about that possibility .. i have come across this modus operandi in Paris and London though not been a target

I wasn't the target here either - nothing of mine was acessible to anyone =they had just moved in to block me to create the diversion.

If they had nipped in between me and FIL they might have got away with his wallet as i wouldn't have twigged what was happening soon enough

There is an anti-pickpocketing police bridgade which travels around in plain clothes but obviously they can't be everywhere

i was pickpocketed in glasgow when i was a student and in a busy shop at sales time- lost my year train season ticket which was a heck of a major item to lose -and of course got bellowed at by my folks and had to go to police station and all that. Not something i woudl like to repeat and i wouldn't wish it on anyone.

On ho9liday with langauge difficulties and passports etc would be really traumatic.

Edited: 19 September 2010, 17:37
Antibes, France
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7. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

I thought Mr Sarkozy was in trouble for wanting to expel them. Having been surrounded by a number of gypsy kids with intent to steal ( not in France) I can certainly sympathise with you , it is truly a frightening experience. The only escape is a sharp kick in the skins , but I suppose one could be up before a war crimes tribunal for that nowadays.

Ed

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

Selkie, did you ever make any mention of the ethnic origin of these kids? (I didn't think so....)

and just for the record, Ed...Sarko might be going about it with an iron fist, but I was completely disgusted to find a young girl begging *in the church* this summer...she would go up and approach people there to pray, bold as brass. haven't seen her around, so I figure she got herself a ticket on the Sarko Express. (they've been given 300 Euros per adult, 100E per child and a plane ticket to go back to Romania...just so everyone knows)

Something needs to be done to address the problem...just not sure what it is.

Antibes, France
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9. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

Sunshine 817 - if you are surrounded by a number of kids intent on robbing your wallet in Antibes, Nice, Marseille, Prague, London or Dublin you can be assured they are not regular attendants at the local primary school. And in my own native city they have flown in en masse , set up camp at the nearest roundabout to the airport and monopolised the begging trade to the chagrin of our own native beggars. As to begging outside churches - from a marketing point of view I am sure this is obviously a good choice as the place that most of us would be persuaded to give alms to the needy.

Ed

Nice
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10. Re: they've got to pick a pocket or two ...

I deliberately didn't mention the origins but they were originally from some eastern european country

I was really giving a heads up to the method used as i hadn't seen it in Nice before and i\m hoping it won't catch on

The waiter's drape method, i have seen used once before but the person was also unsuccessful that time as she became aware of people watching her actions - \accidently\ brushing against people's pockets - she had chosen a time that wasn't busy enough so lots of folk was people watching.

Still, pickpocketing is not a massive high risk-the main thing is to avoid leaving bags and wallets accessible.

I don't know anyone in Nice who has been sucessfully pickpocketed but I've personally known of 2 attempts-this occasion and on a friend who gave money to a beggar with a child - the beggar whistled for her mates and the mates tried to get a hand in every pocket -thankfully they were unsucessful then too.

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