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Pickpocket alert

dorakk
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203 posts
30 reviews
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Pickpocket alert

Just want to share our story so that travellers are aware.

Unfortunately we were one of the victim.

It happened in Venice train station (Santa Lucia), after we boarded the train to Rome.

When we were trying to sort out the luggage (putting them on the rack), two teenage girls insisted to help. They insisted so many times that we finally gave in (guess we were just too tired with the luggage and lost our cautiousness), while the older girl was helping out, the younger girl opened our shoulder bag (wearing at our chest) and took the coin pouch out.

We found out a minute later, but they fled away already. Luckily we lost only little money as we put the big bills in our money belt. Should they have more time, they would have got our iphones from the waist bag too.

Afterwards while we were searching search for our empty coin bag (could not found it) we found another empty wallet on the floor (with no money, but passport and credit card were still there); probably was another victim from these two girls. We guess that they worked their way from the front of the train towards the end (we were at the end).

When we rethink the incident, we realized that those two girls had an eye on us from the minute we boarded the train; probably because we have quite some luggages (two persons with two medium size luggage and one carry on).

Advice: Don't worry about storing your luggage until the train actually moves. Watch your belongs whenever the train stop. Thefts probably use the really short period of time when the train stop at the station to do their business.

Feel sorry for those two young girls too...for becoming professional theft at their ages. They should be studying, having fun with schoolmates instead

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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9,743 posts
510 reviews
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31. Re: Pickpocket alert

It depends. If we are going to one destination only, i.e., get there, unpack for the duration of our stay, pack for the return home, no trains, then what the heck?! I pack what I need and what I think I will need. If multiple destinations are involved, i.e., packing-unpacking, checking in-checking out, lifting luggage onto the train, taxi, etc., then I give it a more careful approach.

Newcastle, Australia
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843 posts
132 reviews
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32. Re: Pickpocket alert

I like the idea of packing light but I am just not good at it.

I am certainly going to give it a go for our trip in May though.

One dilemma I have this time is that we wish to trek Etna while in Sicily but I don't want to take a pair of shoes that I will only need to wear for 4 hours. I cant take an old pair and leave them there because I don't have an old pair, even my trainers are new and I don't intend taking them either, if I can avoid it.

Any suggestions from the light packers????

Australia
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
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33. Re: Pickpocket alert

Gomozzie - Not sure what sort of shoes you have been advised to wear for Mt. Etna or the terrain.What sort of footwear are you planning to take? Most people opt for trainers (from my observations) but I never take them as I prefer boots with thick soles, like motorcycle boots, or sandals with arch support and contours for feet - this is all I took on the last trip and they handled all terrain including country hiking, stony beaches and cobbled streets.

If it's trainers you need/want for Etna, pick up a pair at a second-hand store like Vinnies or an op-shop and then throw them out. Alternatively, K-Mart sell really really cheap brand new trainers - like $8 a pair - this might suit if you prefer not to wear someone else's old shoes.

Newcastle, Australia
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843 posts
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34. Re: Pickpocket alert

Kathy, thanks for your reply.

I might consider the KMart option.

The shoes I WILL be taking are casual ballet flats with thick rubber soles (DF Supersoft) in orange for a splash of colour, black patent Ara flats, rubber soles ( my good shoes for Paris etc), Ecco casuals , Mary Jane style, with a jogger type sole and good Ecco sandals with arch support etc. None of these shoes I want to trash on a trek.

As Sicily is only 9 days into a 6 week trip cheap joggers left behind might be the best option, they will probably be filthy after the trek.

I hate taking trainers on holidays, it's just a thing of mine.

Once again thanks for your suggestion..

Australia
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
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35. Re: Pickpocket alert

Another idea (and to stop hijacking this thread, lol) is to buy some near Etna. If you post a separate question, Vagabonda who looks after Sicily may have some suggestions for places to buy cheap trainers or alternative footwear near where you're staying at Mt Etna. Sounds like you're going on an amazing trip, I hope you have a great time!

Newcastle, Australia
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843 posts
132 reviews
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36. Re: Pickpocket alert

Yes Kathy, it is time to get back to the pickpockets, which I am glad to say I have never encountered. Came across a petition in Rome once but just told them no. Never had any other issues :).

Vagabonda is amazing, she has already helped me countless times arranging my trip to Sicily.

We are going to Paris, Positano, Sicily, Bari, Greece and Venice, so we are really looking forward to it.

Cheers Julie

Adelaide, Australia
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37. Re: Pickpocket alert

Im not the OP but am a little anxious re travelling in Italy- my daughter was in Naples 5 years ago walking the street with her husband, and in broad daylight two thugs came and bashed what looked like an older Italian lady - she fell to the ground and ran off with her handbag....people ran over to her- she was screaming abuse. My dtr who has done quite a bit of travelling, was so upset witnessing this she was crying and she just wanted to go back to the cruise ship.

I do appreciate the warning in being alert, as I am a mid 50s woman who has some walking problems- am a bit slow- lol- and I fatigue easily so do not have my wits about me after a long day out- I will aim to be back at my hotel before I wear out completely. And train travel does rock one half asleep!

Australia
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
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8,801 posts
158 reviews
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38. Re: Pickpocket alert

Magpiegirl9 - I'm sure what your daughter saw was an extremely rare occurrence. The statistics on violent crime in Italy speak for themselves - it is very rare. Not sure if you heard about the horrible assault on a Belgian tourist in Sydney yesterday? Here is a link

news.com.au/national/belgian-tourist-too-tra…

. I can honestly say I feel safer on Naples' historic centre and the immediate locality than I would on some parts of Sydney's streets.

Edited: 22 November 2013, 06:57
Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
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39. Re: Pickpocket alert

Mugging and other forms of violent theft are extremely rare in Italy, but they're a bit more common in Naples than elsewhere. Actually, even in Naples, mugging is also almost unheard of, but you do occasionally hear of people forcibly grabbing bags and jewelry.

Adelaide, Australia
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40. Re: Pickpocket alert

yes I know these things can happen anywhere and to anyone...but these reports will not deter me from my travels! I just recieved a small day back pack for my birthday for my trip with zips that pull together so I can put a small padlock on them. Im just concerned as an older woman travelling solo is perhaps more likely a target, and I am hopeless and distracted when I tire toward the end of the day. When my GF and I came back form Hawaii it was late at night and I offered in kindness to share our taxi at Sydney airport, with a foreign tourist. She stole a bag of our shopping purchases while we were getting our luggage out of the boot....its just a matter of keeping you belongings constantly with you and your wits about you.