2012

Sfogliatelle inside

Sfogliatelle!

By

If this doesn’t make you drool, well, try the lower photo. Sfogliatelli must be the most exquisite pastry ever invented. Found only in Naples,…

Read More
Keycard lock

Hotel room theft

By

It happens. For the most part, it’s rare. At the risk of tempting fate, I’ll admit that we’ve never been victims of hotel theft,…

Read More
tree stump

Why Pickpocketing Continues

By

How Laws Tie Hands, And Cut Them Off Sharif spat a mouthful of blood as he laid his right arm across a wide tree…

Read More
Hotel registry on display

Hotel guests: read all about ’em

By

So much personal information on display at quaint, old-fashioned hotels like the one we recently stayed at in Bali. Which rooms are occupied? What…

Read More
Taped sink

Hotel Oddity #31

By

What the hell happened to the sink? Why is its plumbing all bandaged? Is it insulation in case of a freeze tonight? Are the…

Read More
Norway train

Scenic tunnels

By

Norway is undoubtedly scenic. Spectacular! Though I travel up and down the country every year or so, I rarely take pictures because a camera…

Read More
Pig organ restaurant in Singapore

Pig organ soup

By

Here’s a restaurant in Singapore I didn’t try. In addition to its famous pig organ soup, the specialty restaurant pushes portions of pig livers,…

Read More
Hanger thief

Portrait of a hanger thief

By

This man had weighed his bag and was now shedding stuff when I saw him at the check-in counter in Pisa airport. What he…

Read More
Phone thieves: Florin & Friend

Child phone thieves answer questions

By

Florin and his 13-year-old pal emphasize that they are not pickpockets—they are phone thieves. They steal phones from tabletops, not from people. The distinction…

Read More
PowerKiss

PowerKiss

By

I found this red circle embedded in the wooden table at a coffee shop in the Helsinki airport. Next to it was a little…

Read More
Thief hanger

Hotel oddity #30

By

“Thief!” That’s my hotel accusing me, before it even knows me. What kind of customer relations is that? I feel insulted when I find…

Read More

Bob Arno pickpocketed in Bali—video

By

What kind of monkey business is going on when the thief rejects cash and throws bills taken from the pocket onto the ground? Watch…

Read More
Luggage carousel

Bag tag sabotage

By

For various reasons, my luggage is hard to steal from. I take hundreds of flights every year, and so far, thank goodness, nothing has…

Read More
TSA thieves

TSA thieves

By

“New figures out today show 381 TSA officers have been fired for stealing from passengers and their luggage, and members of Congress think that…

Read More
A road warrior self-portrait taken in a hotel mirror

Bag theft epidemic at Atlanta Airport carousel

By

Atlanta Airport Police tell a business traveler that luggage theft from the carousel is currently an “epidemic” and “out of control.” The busines-traveler-victim plays…

Read More
How a pickpocket steals from a jacket hung on the back of a restaurant chair.

Pickpocket steals from jacket on cafe chair

By

A strategist thief is one who creates his own opportunity, one who operates on a specific plan, one who steals with malice aforethought. The…

Read More
Our suite at the East Hamburg Hotel

Hotel oddity #29

By

We were nearly asleep when the Jacuzzi turned itself on in the bathtub next to the bed. Of course we both flew out of…

Read More
Phones on cafe table

Smartphone theft and police response

By

Since recently coming to understand the high numbers of smartphone theft in Barcelona, the manners in which they’re stolen, and the strategic refusal of…

Read More
credit card shimming

How a stolen credit card number makes cash for a fraudster

By

All this talk of stolen credit cards and “skimming.” Then what? What happens after you’ve swiped your card through a tampered-with ATM, gas pump,…

Read More
Carrer de Ferran, Barcelona

Barcelona bag-snatch and the lucky victims

By

Barcelona police are eager to report a theft when they catch the thief and return the victim’s property—if the following story is any indication….

Read More
Al'alla, a retired pickpocket in Tangier

Barcelona’s Ronaldinho pickpocket technique

By

Thieves who operate on the principles of stealth, motion, or impedence strive to minimize contact with their victim. Zero face-time is their preference. Minimal…

Read More
Alicante beach

Beach bag theft

By

I met the elderly British victim moments after her bag was stolen. She’d been sitting on the beach in Alicante, Spain, eating potato chips….

Read More
Shampoo

Hotel Oddity #28

By

A hotel I stayed in was unabashed enough to provide shampoo in a water glass! Obviously they’d simply run out of amenity bottles. But…

Read More
Bob Arno in Barcelona with two of the three "table-top boys."

Smartphone theft: thieves are magicians

By

Smartphone theft Smartphone theft is out of control. Phones are flying off cafe tables right under the noses of their owners. The thieves are…

Read More
mossos d'esquadra

Barcelona police prevent theft-report filings

By

Barcelona police are turning away theft victims who come to report the theft of their phones. Why? The victims can’t provide the stolen phones’…

Read More

Barcelona police refuse to file reports of stolen phones without serial numbers

By

Bob and I visited the Barcelona police station for information and found the usual line of victims reporting thefts. I asked a young Norwegian…

Read More
The postcards are pulled away along with the wallet.

The Pickpocket’s postcard trick

By

Kharem is another opportunist who doubles as a minor-league strategist. When we first met him, he was prowling the perimeter of a breakdance performance…

Read More
Thiefhunters in Paradise. Empty pockets. 404

Summer Scams to Avoid

By

Are you going to London for the Olympic games this summer? Are you going to Europe? Are you going anywhere? Bob Arno urges you…

Read More
Bank door card swipe

Skimmers in bank doors

By

Ever use an ATM at a bank after hours? Was it inside a locked vestibule, where you had to swipe your bank card to…

Read More