Speeder fakes carjacking

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“John Smith” was driving 180 kph when he realized he’d just blasted through a speed trap outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. “Knowing the police…

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The Heart of a Thief

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Does a pickpocket keep his appointments? Bob and I loitered on a corner with our interpreter. We were a unanimously doubtful trio already considering…

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Hotel Oddity #20

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Our hotel room in Paris had these gorgeous bathroom doors. Each door is made of one large plate of thick translucent glass in a…

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Pickpocket passion

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Hamburg, Germany—Undercover pickpocket cop Michael-G is the first person we’ve met who exceeds our own nutcase-level of fascination with pickpocketry. The day we spent…

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At a thief’s home

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The shouting at dinner surprised me. It was like the stereotypical Italian dinner: loud and full of gesturing, standing up and leaning forward, voices…

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The pickpocket’s invitation

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With nervousness and excitement, we are preparing to visit the home of one of those controversial figures: the thief you hate to love. Bob…

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To like a pickpocket

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The life of a pickpocket might seem to be an easy one. Want money? Just take it. Need more? Pick a tourist from the…

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Thievery in motion

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The foot of Charles Bridge, in Prague, is alive with movement. People come and go, lounging and looking, snapping pictures, sipping sodas, eager not…

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Hotel oddity #19

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Yeah, we know already, like “leave a message after the beep.” But this is odd… “A towel on the rack means ‘I’ll use it…

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How to spot a thief in a crowd

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About how to spot a thief or a pickpocket, I said in my last post that “Bob and I locked onto them the moment…

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Street crime in St. Petersburg, Russia

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Prowling and preying with impunity, the pickpocket pair cared little about hiding their business. Yet none of the mighty swirling masses intent on going…

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An opportunist pickpocket—part 2

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La Rambla, Barcelona—On observing the behavior of someone like Plaid, we label him a suspect. We follow and film, yet we can’t be certain…

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Opportunist pickpocket – part 1

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La Rambla, Barcelona—On one crowded summer Sunday, Bob and I patrolled the perimeters of the street performers’ audiences. Of all the thieves and con…

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Hotel oddity #18

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China World Hotel, Beijing— Very nice room. In an effort to think of every detail, there’s a little glass shelf installed on the bathroom…

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Fully warned and aware; pickpocketed anyway

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My old friend Avis perused my blog just before her recent trip to Spain. Then she wrote me, doubly concerned. She and her 25ish…

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A pickpocket cab scam

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Traveler Tim Hopkins reports on an “ingenious cab scam theft.” Lessons learned, disaster averted I recently purchased two copies of your book, one for…

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Death of a Rolex theft victim

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We received another long email last Friday from a thief we know in Naples, Italy. Between his flowery prose on the trials and tribulation…

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Cargo ship, shipping containers lost at sea, ocean freight

10,000 shipping containers lost at sea each year

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10,000 shipping containers are lost at sea each year! From my naive perspective, I’m shocked by this number. Twice, I’ve sent an entire household…

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Ghost in the Wires

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I thought Kevin Mitnick was a friend of mine—but that was before I read his forthcoming book, Ghost in the Wires. Kevin’s the consummate…

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Unlimited free internet

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Visiting the Honolulu Apple Store, Bob and I were instantly struck by the clientele. They weren’t shopping at all! They were a bunch of…

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Kaiseki: Steamed icefish on raw sea urchin

Japanese kaiseki dinner

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You are lucky indeed if you ever get the opportunity to experience a kaiseki meal, especially one in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn….

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Hotel oddity #17

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I have to say, there’s something rather cozy about a warm toilet seat. Definitely got used to that in Japan. I came to expect…

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Theft in Lisbon

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Starbucks has a bad rap when it comes to theft. Customers focus on their drinks, their conversations, their open computers, and thieves know it….

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Beijing street food

Beijing street food

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Beijing street food Arachnid kebob, anyone? If you haven’t lost your appetite from all the lusty hawking and spitting and splatting, your stomach will…

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Vault door; Database data loss

Database data loss

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People often share their credit card anxiety with me. They’re afraid their cards will be lost or stolen and huge bills will be run…

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Pattaya’s sex tourism

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Pattaya, Thailand’s got to be the seediest, one-track party-town in the world. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Huge signs advertising the Fcuk…

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Hotel Oddity #16

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I stay in a lot of hotels, some of which are the best or most unique in the world. This one in Hong Kong—not…

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Japan’s complicated shoe rules

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Despite the focus on negative experiences compiled on this site, it is possible to travel without being ripped off. It bothers Bob and me…

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Pickpocket at large in a zoo

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The Nocturnal Sting and the Bite Skansen, Stockholm’s outdoor museum, suffered a nasty spate of pickpocketing incidents one midsummer. Up to eight known incidents…

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Money-changing scam

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Some years ago, before Bulgaria was part of the EU, Dodie B. and two male friends visited one of that country’s small port towns….

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