stolen D800 in Paris.

Started May 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Leo360
Senior MemberPosts: 1,031
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Re: stolen D800 in Paris.
In reply to 57even, May 24, 2013

57even wrote:

lanefAU wrote:

57even wrote:

Lance B wrote:

lanefAU wrote:

vicpug wrote:

Had my D800 and a few lenses stolen a few weeks ago in Paris. What happens to stolen gear in Paris ?  It must be hard to peddle thru normal dealers ?   thanks

Would you mind tell us how your gear was stolen in Paris? I will be in Paris in July and I am not sure how careful I should be. I was in Paris in 2008 and had no problem walking with my cameras. So I would be grateful to know how it happened to you. Thanks.

I am going to Parisl, and I would love to know as well.

Basically one person starts talking to you or creating a distraction and the other person sneaks up and takes the bag. If you leave a bag on the floor by the table, it's enough.

I always keep mine between my feet.

In Paris, I know the gypsies keep showing you that piece of paper with small print on it and asking you if you read English to read it for them or they throw a sort of fake gold plated ring in front of you without you noticing and as you approach, one of them pick it up and tells you it is yours and when you say no they are dumb enough to tell you: Yes look it is written on the inside. You just have to tell them to go away. If you fall for that stupid trick, while you try to read someone else will try pickpocketing. Also when the train stops, keep your bags or stuff secured. If you just leave it on the floor, someone can just grad it and run quickly off the train. I had to say we had nothing stolen in 2008, but now in 2013, God knows. I am also doing a few cities in Spain, I am more worried about Spain than Paris as unemployment over there is fricken 27% high.

Biggest issues in London:

  1. Kids on bicycles snatching mobiles from people gassing on the street or looking at Google maps. Answer, don't stand gassing on the phone in crowded streets but duck in a doorway or shop.
  2. Rigged ATMs (false pin-pads, reader inserts). Your Pin and number will be used on the internet within minutes. Avoid using ATMs at night, especially in relatively deserted areas without CCTV. 
  3. Crooked shop assistants who take your card and scan it while pretending to clean it, and then watch you put in your pin. If they handle your card ask for it back, leave the goods and walk out (and if you cant, like in a bar or restaurant, ALWAYS hide your PIN when entering it). 

Note, all these occur across Europe. There was a massive scam running at the Alhambra in Granada with thousands of credit card details stolen by an organised gang who had bribed the operators.

Regular pickpocketing and the kind of aggressive accosting you find in some places has been largely dealt with (lots of cameras everywhere). There is a finite chance of being mugged at night in some less pleasant neighbourhoods, but you'll probably know if your are in one.

But even in London, I stay well out of the tourist traps. London has many fantastic places off the beaten track, but the only places you are going to be targeted as a tourist are in the obvious ones. Snatchers love crowds and a high target density. Even a tiny place like Venice is 80% uncrowded even in peak season as tourists pour into San Marco and the other tourist traps.

Common sense and a sceptical eye is still the best defence. Always. Ignore anyone who approaches you with something or tries to distract you, and put your possessions and money where they can't be easily got at. Choose the right camera bag and if it has external compartments, don't put anything valuable in them. Be extra vigilant in crowded places, and if you sit down in a restaurant or bar, put your bag between your legs, and don't sit near the door.

Note, Spain has always had high unemployment, but generally good social security. Away from the worst parts of the South coast, nothing has changed too much, but as always the big cities and tourist traps are rich pickings. Where are you going?

On Christmas Eve last year in London I encountered a pickpocket on the Oxford street. He rammed into me hoping that something will fall out  of my bag or pockets. Coming home I noticed absence of my half-broken umbrella. I pity the guy if he has to make his leaving from such meager things. Two days later on a "Boxer Day" I was thrown out of the London taxi cab because the driver did not want to drive to Acton Town.

But in all fairness I never experienced anything like that in all my previous visits to London which to this day is still my favorite European capital.

Leo

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