Re: [93attendees] Pickpocket frequency was: RE: what currency is widely used in Czech?

Fernando Gont <> Fri, 10 July 2015 19:44 UTC

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Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 16:43:50 -0300
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Subject: Re: [93attendees] Pickpocket frequency was: RE: what currency is widely used in Czech?
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On 07/10/2015 02:52 PM, Pat (Patricia) Thaler wrote:
> Well, I've spent time in 3, 5, 7, 8 and 10 on that list (Prague is 2)
> and never had any trouble. On the other hand, my husband's pocket was
> picked in Beijing which isn't on the top 10 list. ( He noticed it
> immediately and nearby strangers helped chase down the thief so he
> recovered his wallet.)
> An ordered list of cities doesn't tell you what the overall risk per
> city is. This particular one doesn't even say what statistic it is
> ranked on, e.g. total number, % per population; a different
> pickpocket statistic might produce a totally different ordering. And
> it doesn't tell you what the variation was - is it  200% or 5% more
> likely that you run into a  picked pocket at number 2 on the list
> than number 40?

Even if that information was available... what would be the use of it?

Don't want to be pick-pocketed? -- Usually the best way to avoid that is
"security through obscurity" and "don't do the obvious stuff that will
get you pick-pocketed".

Some rules of thumb:

* Don't use wallets in your trousers. If needed, use one of those
"envelopes" that end up below your clothes.

* Compartmentalize: Don't put all your valuables in the same place. Say,
put cash in one place, and split your credit-cards in different places.

* Thieves can open the zipper of your backpack but also shortcut by
cutting it: whatever is next to a zipper, even inside the backpack is an
easier target that something in the middle of it, surrounded by
unrelated/random stuff.

* Whenever you arrive to a city, ask a local about places where you
shouldn't go (not in terms of pick-pocketing but in terms of, say, being
robbed at gun point).

* If you wear a backpack, either do not put any valuables inside, or if
you do, wear the backpack on the front, rather on the back (frontpack? :-) )

* Always wear the backpack on the front in very crowded places, such as
public transport.

* Avoid flashy stuff (golden rings, necklaces, etc.). Thives like them,
and will easily make you a target.

* Do not leave your belongings unattended: (unattended= you're not
grabbing them)

* If you need to operate on some valuables (e.g. pick up a phone call on
a pricey phone), get into a nearby shop -- it's way easier for someone
to just grab your stuff and runaway if you're in the streets.

* Avoid obvious stuff that will get you robbed (e.g., if you're the only
person walking on some random street at night, you probably shouldn't be

* Always be aware of your context (if there's plenty of room and someone
has been standing next to you, there's probably a reason for that).

* If possible, when doing stuff (e.g., sightseeing), it's better if in
groups: if you fail with anything of the above, someone else of your
friends might notice and "save" you.

Is the above needed for, say, Prague? -- most likely quite a bit of it
isn't. But if you incorporate the above and are able to apply it without
having to think about it, you'll reduce your own personal risk of being
robbed or pick-pocketed.

Fernando Gont
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