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Please be careful....

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111 posts
8 reviews
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Please be careful....

I was robbed of my Canon 50D and new lens which I specially bought for this trip!!!!!:(((((

After finishing our tour at the Hermitage, we had some free time and took a walk along Nevsky Prospekt. We were taking photos along the way, oblivious to our environment. After walking along the road for a while, we had to turn back as our bus would be waiting for us near Hermitage.

Just then, this stupid guy came up to us, wanting to sell some postcards. We tried to shake him off and during the whole process which took less than a minute, I heard something fell and sounds like the lens cover falling off on the ground. This was when we realised that the camera had been stolen. The camera was kept inside a Crumpler camera bag, with 2 clip locks at the side and a velcro opening. We did not feel anything at all during the time the guy was trying to open it. They were no where in sight when we turned, even the guy who tried to sell us the post cards. Looking back, it is as if the incident happened in a split of a second.

We called the guide who wanted to take us to the police station as we were hoping to claim from the insurance. However, we were told that the police station is outside the city and may have to spend a few hours there. We were contemplating as our guide had to lead another tour later in the evening and we did not want to hold her up and also the insurance may not cover much. The whole effort may be in vain.

So, we went to the Metro, hoping that a police post is there. Yes, there is one and guess what, they are not authorised to take any statement and asked us to wait for half and hour for them to deploy an officer from the police station. Half and hour later, he came and the most atrocious reason was given: he did not bring the forms and stamp with him and as such, could not issue any report.! There was nothing we could do.

I think this could happen to anyone and I hope to warn and remind all of you to be extra careful. These people are very professional and there is no way that you can seek remorse. We had traveled to many crime-prone countries and this is the first time we encountered this. Maybe we had taken things for granted.

What I am very sad is the photos. We visited Peterhof, Hermitage and had a city tour the days before and they were all gone!!! Luckily some of our tour mates offerd to send me photos of these places.

New York
Destination Expert
for Moscow
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37 reviews
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11. Re: Please be careful....

Reminds me of NYC - criminals used to be running wild and all you heard was excuses abt how intractable the problem is and abt the root causes and so forth. Until the incoming mayor gave the police chiefs an ultimatum - you fix the problem or you hit the bricks. If you think this is too difficult then move over. Then they got off their butts....

Of course uniformed police wont see anything - that's what undercover units are for. They also launch stings, send someone out who looks like an easy prey, that's how they catch criminals.

Leicester, United...
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2,213 posts
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12. Re: Please be careful....

We were lucky in that when these "pickpockets" tried to open my wife's camera bag (rucksack type) she felt the bag move. There were possibly 3 or 4 involved. One pretended to look in shop windows and then blocked her path. Another was waving a leaflet and a "captain's cap" for river trips in her face. She didn't stop so her moving maybe made the attempted theft more difficult. As said above a plain clothes police operation couldn't fail to catch these people if set up correctly. The location was as previously described.

As for "guides" the worst one we had was one with many years experience. But that is another story.

PS - there are genuine people offering river trips so don't think they are all thieves!

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117 posts
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13. Re: Please be careful....

Where was the Camera? how they steal a 1 or 2 kilogram camera without noticing?, was it a violent robbery? or distract , steal and walk robbery?

Edited: 01 February 2013, 20:38
Chicago, Illinois
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24 posts
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14. Re: Please be careful....

Did you ever receive pictures of St. Petersburg from your mate? I was there, maybe I can send you some the pictures that took. Let me know.

Chisinau, Moldova
5 posts
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15. Re: Please be careful....

Oh, I feel so sorry for you :((

I intend to visit St. Petersburg this summer, that is why I read your report with interest. Now I will be more tolerant with my boyfriend; he is always careful, and when I walk dreaming and admiring the facades, he is attentive to the people passing by, at every detail.

Bern, Switzerland
13 posts
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16. Re: Please be careful....

Sorry to hear such a bad experience in loosing your camera. Good to know and be careful while there.

St. Petersburg...
9 posts
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17. Re: Please be careful....

Sorry for you camera and lens...One should be careful about all belongings. Regretfully, SPb is not the safest city :(

18. Re: Please be careful....

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