What’s more charming than a leisurely break at an outdoor café? Coffee, a beer, a glass of wine, maybe lunch… You chat with friends and watch the people-parade, safe within the lush green walls separating you from the commotion and concerns of traffic and humanity. A cool oasis with a feeling of privacy and exclusivity—at least to some level.
This is where a great number of bag thefts occur, thanks to that false sense of security one naturally gets from the perimeter of potted plants. Thieves may use a special tool or a mangled wire hanger to snag a purse or backpack from between the planters. The use of a tool allows them to pierce your private sphere without setting off your personal alarm system. The most popular sites for this M.O. are right beside a subway entrance or other easy getaway—a gateway to disappear with the swag.
Thankfully, restaurants are beginning to counteract with simple preventative measures. This summer I’ve noticed many café perimeters reinforced with wooden lathing, chicken wire, or bigger planters close together.