Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video

Started Feb 5, 2014 | Discussions
MichaelVadon
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Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
Feb 5, 2014

Here is a video where the lens is stolen while its around the photographers neck.

http://youtu.be/vnOHmehDcU0

There are a few things to note in this video.  The thieves work in a group and there are at least 3 people in on it.  Cardboard is used to hide what is going on.  Seems like a lot of these guys like to use cardboard.

The moral of the story is that when traveling don't let anyone get close.  If an individual approaches you with questions or trying to help keep them back and keep moving in the opposite direction.  If one person approaches and gets close, then probably their buddies will suddenly swarm in like this video.

I know it sounds a bit cold to shoo away someone who "just wants to help" or "needs directions", but thats the safest possible solution.  The moment someone approaches you put your hand up and walk in the opposite direction quickly (and try not to walk into their buddies).

In another thread about Italy I talked about my adventures with potential thieves who I did not give a chance to get close to me.  There was the:

1)  The man who wanted badly to see my hotel reservation.  I said no thank you and walked away.  He continued to follow me and I ducked into a tourist center.  He finally cleared the area after 15 minutes.

2)  The woman on the train platform who wanted to "help me with my bags".  I said no and walked away.  She continued to shadow me and seemed to have a male buddy who was shadowing her.  This woman did not have luggage or shoulder bags or tickets in hand. When the train pulled out, I saw her trolling the station as I looked out the window.  Apparently, this wasnt her train.

3)  A bunch of youths who crowded me on the subway train.  After about a second or two I jumped back, but somehow they were holding on to my bag.  Fortunately, I got out of the tangle.

4)  The woman in gypsy clothing who approached me wanting money.  Having been briefed by the many youtube videos about gypsy women at train stations I was cautious, told her to go away and quickly distanced myself.

I dont want to make it seem like Italy was the only place that this foolery takes place.  In Jamaica, a man approached me asking if I remembered him.  He said he was the waiter from the resort, but I was staying at a hostel.  In the Dominican Republic, there was another man who seemed to latch on to me and wanted him to be the tour guide.

I guess I could rattle on and on my different stories.  Knock on wood, I have not been victimized yet.  I do enjoy all the places I go to and keeping the petty thieves at bay is all part of the fun of foreign travel.

Ontario Gone
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 5, 2014

That would suck to be me but i couldn't help but laugh hard.

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Mike_PEAT
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nt)OLD video posted here before.
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 5, 2014

nt=No text

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mosswings
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 5, 2014

Michael, all I can say is that you've had an incredibly bad streak of luck. I've traveled for 30 years around the world to the same places you have and some others where people had warned us we'd not return whole from, and have never been accosted once like you have. All I've done is keep my camera equipment tucked away until it was time to use it, not look like a turkey in a rainstorm, and atay situationally aware. Only in Rome were we approached by a Roma with using the classic cardboard ploy, but that amounted to nought. Something has gone very very wrong in Rome lately if your experience has become typical.

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MichaelVadon
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to mosswings, Feb 5, 2014

I have traveled extensively too and these were just a handful of incidents.  The majority of incidents were actually in Rome.

mosswings wrote:

Michael, all I can say is that you've had an incredibly bad streak of luck. I've traveled for 30 years around the world to the same places you have and some others where people had warned us we'd not return whole from, and have never been accosted once like you have. All I've done is keep my camera equipment tucked away until it was time to use it, not look like a turkey in a rainstorm, and atay situationally aware. Only in Rome were we approached by a Roma with using the classic cardboard ploy, but that amounted to nought. Something has gone very very wrong in Rome lately if your experience has become typical.

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ApertureAcolyte
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Dude should consider himself lucky
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 5, 2014

Considering the amount of hyenas circling him, he got off lightly. Could have taken much more stuff off him and beaten him.

It was his fault, he was totally oblivious to his surroundings and no street smarts.

This thing is very prevalent in Europe.

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chooflaki
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Re: Dude should consider himself lucky
In reply to ApertureAcolyte, Feb 5, 2014

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

Considering the amount of hyenas circling him, he got off lightly. Could have taken much more stuff off him and beaten him.

It was his fault, he was totally oblivious to his surroundings and no street smarts.

This thing is very prevalent in Europe.

These types rarely used violence. I experinced the same in Rome over 30 years ago. Gypsies tried to rob us a couple of times every day. Same tricks, cardboard and all. The law there is quite apathetic to crimes that don't include violence but severe on violent crimes. The crooks know that and will rarely assault a victim. Witness the total lack of menacing agression from this lot. Confusion, deception and stealth are their tools. If someone fights back they back off. They know if they start assaulting victims their easy pickings days are numbered.

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Re: Dude should consider himself lucky
In reply to ApertureAcolyte, Feb 5, 2014

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

Considering the amount of hyenas circling him, he got off lightly. Could have taken much more stuff off him and beaten him.

It was his fault, he was totally oblivious to his surroundings and no street smarts.

This thing is very prevalent in Europe.

With due respect. is that a US isolationist viewpoint? I travel extensively in eastern and southern Europe and haven't had any issues. Obviously if you go to a dark alley in a bad part of town at 3am then you can expect trouble but with average street smart and cop-on you be fine almost anywhere, including Rome.

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ApertureAcolyte
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Re: Dude should consider himself lucky
In reply to Jaberwok, Feb 5, 2014

Jaberwok wrote:

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

Considering the amount of hyenas circling him, he got off lightly. Could have taken much more stuff off him and beaten him.

It was his fault, he was totally oblivious to his surroundings and no street smarts.

This thing is very prevalent in Europe.

With due respect. is that a US isolationist viewpoint? I travel extensively in eastern and southern Europe and haven't had any issues.

Great logic. Because it hasn't happened to you it doesn't happen right?.

Obviously if you go to a dark alley in a bad part of town at 3am then you can expect trouble but with average street smart and cop-on you be fine almost anywhere, including Rome.

That's what I'm saying, the dude has no street smarts.

The number one crime in St. Petersburg is..... *drum roll*..... THEFT.

So is it a dark alley at 3am, tell me?

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Re: Dude should consider himself lucky
In reply to ApertureAcolyte, Feb 5, 2014

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

Jaberwok wrote:

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

Considering the amount of hyenas circling him, he got off lightly. Could have taken much more stuff off him and beaten him.

It was his fault, he was totally oblivious to his surroundings and no street smarts.

This thing is very prevalent in Europe.

With due respect. is that a US isolationist viewpoint? I travel extensively in eastern and southern Europe and haven't had any issues.

Great logic. Because it hasn't happened to you it doesn't happen right?.

Obviously if you go to a dark alley in a bad part of town at 3am then you can expect trouble but with average street smart and cop-on you be fine almost anywhere, including Rome.

That's what I'm saying, the dude has no street smarts.

The number one crime in St. Petersburg is..... *drum roll*..... THEFT.

So is it a dark alley at 3am, tell me

The number one crime in St. Petersburg is..... *drum roll*..... THEFT.

Duh! Sweeping generalisation time that the number one crime is theft. No Sh1t Sherlock!

Theft is prevalent in Europe Uh huh. Coming from an Australian where the level of theft from tourists is endemic and casual violence common..this is a bit rich!

What I'm saying is that WITH street smart and usual caution you'll be just fine.

Looks like another one for the ignore list.

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Brendan Delaney
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Re: Dude should consider himself lucky
In reply to Jaberwok, Feb 5, 2014

What an idiot strolling around like that with a big lens and a backpack full of stuff.......

I would not do this anywhere!

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socode
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Re: Dude should consider himself lucky
In reply to ApertureAcolyte, Feb 5, 2014

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

Jaberwok wrote:

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

Considering the amount of hyenas circling him, he got off lightly. Could have taken much more stuff off him and beaten him.

It was his fault, he was totally oblivious to his surroundings and no street smarts.

This thing is very prevalent in Europe.

With due respect. is that a US isolationist viewpoint? I travel extensively in eastern and southern Europe and haven't had any issues.

Great logic. Because it hasn't happened to you it doesn't happen right?.

It might happen but that doesn't make it prevalent.

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pew pew
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 5, 2014

Imo thats video is not on Italy, sounds more like Russia or a near country.

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SeymourButts
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 5, 2014

Let them try that with Bernie Goetz. 

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unknown member
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That's correct (Russian)
In reply to pew pew, Feb 5, 2014

pew pew wrote:

Imo thats video is not on Italy, sounds more like Russia or a near country.

That's actually correct, I didn't watch it with the sound on the first time around, now I watched it with the sound.

In the end he says "padyom" to his friend which means "let's go". His friend's name is Sergo which makes them probably Georgian or Azerbaijanian.

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ozdean
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 5, 2014

Thanks for the tips Michael.

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crashpc
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 5, 2014

I don´t show my stuff, I have it safely with me (not easy to steal) and I carry two to four weapons with me. But as someone said, If you act in a way that you know what are you doing and you stand your ground, you have very low possibility to get in this kind of trouble. As I just feel safe about my behaviour and backup, so this feels my potential enemy from me

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Why does he do it?

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It is true
In reply to crashpc, Feb 6, 2014

crashpc wrote:

I don´t show my stuff, I have it safely with me (not easy to steal) and I carry two to four weapons with me. But as someone said, If you act in a way that you know what are you doing and you stand your ground, you have very low possibility to get in this kind of trouble. As I just feel safe about my behaviour and backup, so this feels my potential enemy from me

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Why does he do it?

You don't even need to be big and strong! I've had a couple of experiences like that too, in one case two men and one case three (approaching from behind both times and up to no good), when I noticed them they looked at me only to see me scan them from head to toe in a fraction of a second and immediately change my step ever so slightly without missing a beat, being ready to react to whatever change in their direction or behaviour. I think most importantly I didn't look or act panicked. That was enough for them to give up their plans on the spot, even though I was alone, smaller and unthreatening. Those people look victims that are lost, helpless. If they see no sign of helplessness they won't go for you, unless they're mentally unstable or otherwise not very smart.

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Nibbio
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 6, 2014

It's obvious these guys are street thieves, the photographer was just too easy to get robbed showing his belongings. Pretty sure they do that to all kinds of people carrying baggage with them. Thanks for the video and for sharing your experience, Michael! Keep safe.

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Isola Verde
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Re: Lens stolen while camera is around photographers neck...video
In reply to MichaelVadon, Feb 6, 2014

Perhaps I can repeat the advice I frequently offered as one of TripAdvisor's Destinations, during the years we lived down in the sunny Bay of Naples?

BEFORE setting off, check your own government's suggestions for those of its citizens who are travelling abroad!

Thus, Americans should look under "Safety and Security", here, re Italy:

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/italy.html

Or here, for the Russian Federation - if going to Saint Petersburg, from where that video appears to have originated?

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/russia.html

At least one thread about it has been locked....

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51815127

... as perhaps this also should be?

____________________________________

Similarly, for Brits going to Italy...
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/safety-and-security

... or the USA:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa/safety-and-security

____________________________________

To repeat the best of those recommendations, "Research your destination before travelling and seek local advice about areas with high levels of criminal activity."

Although what sort of fool wouldn't?

Peter

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