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Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

Los Angeles...
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90 posts
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Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

I just want to let everyone here know about my experience at the train station/Gare Du Nord in Brussels.

I arrived around 6am from Frankfurt via Eurolines bus. I was trying to catch the transit train to the Brussels airport. I had 2 bags with me. One was a carry on size bag with wheels and the other my backpack.

I was on platform #3 around 6:45am awaiting the train and I noticed a man in his mid 40's passing back and forth on his cell phone. I was wheeling my bag and had my other on my back. I was sorta just passing around checking out the platform, signs whatever.. just passing time.

The man on the cell phone approached me and pointed at my shoulder blade area. I had liquid hand soap all over my back. CRAP! I thanked him and began to wipe it off with my other hand. He handed me a Kleenex and he was also helping me out. I told him thank you and was trying to pull away but he was very persistent in helping me out. He then lift my jacket and showed me how it was all the way down my back (the soap). I then took off my back pack.. sat it down and after just 2 seconds I was a bit annoyed that he kept trying to help me clean this off and told him to back off and thats when i looked down.. MY backpack was GONE!" I then looked to my left and saw a tall man running down the stairs with it!

"HEY HEY HEY MOTHERF*CKER!" I shouted and began to run after him. As I approached him and kept yelling at him.. he dropped my backpack and continue running down the stairs. I immediately grabbed my bag and went back to confront the man with the kleenex and soap.. THEN REALIZING he was in on it. He looked SHOCKED! He's face was priceless, as I approached him.. "YOU THINK I"M STUPID? YOU WANNA F*CK with ME? DON"T F*CK with ME! WHO THE F*CK do you think I am?? I must of yelled this like 10 times hahaha.

He then scatter away and for whatever reason I began to follow him.. he started to walk really fast and i stopped following him once I saw him leave the train station. I quickly gather my thoughts.. TRIED to relax and I had to go to an other platform to find my train to the airport.

Inside my bag was my life.. how I make my living. $4000 worth of professional camera equipment, macbook pro, passport and other personal items.

I'm willing to bet these jerks NEVER encounter anyone or a reaction like mine and thats why the ran and thats why they were stunned. I'm back home now in Los Angeles and I look at my bag everyday and wonder.. WHAT IF?

Long Beach, NY
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1. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

You were (nearly) a victim of one of the oldest scams. It could have happened anywhere there are tourists and thieves.

If I have to put my backpack on the floor (in a restaurant, sidewalk café, train, etc.) I make sure to put my leg through one of the straps.

Thanks for posting….glad you didn’t lose your backpack!

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

I grew up in Mexico City. I been watching my stuff since I was 5 years old. No joke. These fools were CLOSE! and usually I do, do that! put it between my leg and take all the precautions. I'm on it! ;).. all it took was 2 seconds.

Aurora, Colorado
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3. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

Thanks for sharing this, as a solo traveler who could never catch anyone if they took my 'life' in my bag, I'm glad to know to be aware of this. I've never heard of this so I know your story helped me, thanks! I'm headed to Bruges through Brussels soon and will be much wiser.

Long Beach, NY
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4. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

Those “fools” were professional thieves….but they didn’t steal anything from you.

You’re right, it only takes two seconds – and then your money, passport and camera are gone.

Your post is a good reminder to always remain aware of your surroundings. And to watch out for those who insist on helping you wipe off something on your back.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

You know... I can't stop thinking about it. The fact that they got so close to me as to put liquid soap on my back and in less than 3 seconds manage to take my bag... that's pretty darn good. Still I WON!

Should I had alerted the authorities? I'm surprised how I didn't even see ANYONE there that resemble a cop..

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

Yes.. please be very very careful.. try to send next to a wall and just keep your eyes open.

Long Beach, NY
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887 posts
127 reviews
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7. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

The authorities probably would have done nothing. I’m sure they are aware of crime (attempted crime, in your case) at the train station.

Read this thread from a tourist who had a camera stolen at a restaurant in Brussels…..

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188644-i205-k4606…

San Diego...
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8. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

It's a world wide scam. I just talked to a neighbor who is headed your way and who had the exact same thing happen to him in South America.

But with all our travel and the time I spend on TA, it just seems odd that Brussels has a lot of chat about theft. At the same time it's tough to park a car in Hawaii if you leave anything in sight.

See you soon.

Barcelona, Spain
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9. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

The good thing about this story is that you're not blaming authorities or whomever. It's about you (the hero) and them (the criminals), and you won. Other stories of really unattentive travellers in Brussels on this forum tend to minimalize their own responsability when something is stolen ...

brussels
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for Brussels
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1,107 posts
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10. Re: Nearly robbed at Gare Du Nord train station in Brussels!

all good stuff people exploit travellers shock news.

the good new is that nothing was nicked but i woulsd be careful about having "my life" in a bag. at least you were firt enough to chase them.

incidentally i have had the samedor similar scam tried on me in paris,naples, New York, LA San Diego. just be alert