bambi vincent

Hotel Oddity #50. Whose clothes are in the bed?

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It’s my birthday, and we’re on the road, as usual. This time it’s an okay low-budget hotel in Anchorage. Our plan for a nice…

FedEx delivery failure – boxes fall off truck

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So, I’m expecting a couple of packages. The FedEx tracking site says they’re “on vehicle for delivery.” Yippee! When your box falls off a…

Handicap stall in ladies rooms

Handicap stall in ladies rooms

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90% of the times I bypass a long line at a ladies’ room, I find an unused, available, extra-wide, “accessible” cubicle. Trained by parking…

They’re Ravin’

They’re Ravin’

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For all the entertainment bookers and speaker bureau agents who make our comedy shows and anti-theft keynotes possible: They’re Ravin’ ONCE UPON a midnight…

Outrageous excuse delays return of found lost luggage

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“We can’t export your found lost-luggage because it contains an artificial hand which requires the permission of the ministry of health.” I’m starting with…

A platform for pickpockets

A platform for pickpockets

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Denouement. None of us wanted to leave the park. After the demos, the dinner, and the as-yet-untold experience on the buses, after the conversation,…

Criminal scavengers, and poets as well

Criminal scavengers, and poets as well

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Bob gets cold feet. Overnight, reality began to percolate and bubble over the exhilaration of yesterday’s thieves’ challenge. By morning it was clear to…

A pickpocket party begins

A pickpocket party begins

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Dinner with thieves. It’s 3:00. The film crew’s still perfecting camera angles, lighting, and table arrangements. I’ve taken my seat as requested, so cameras…

Overly careless behavior repels thieves—but don’t try it!

Overly careless behavior repels thieves—but don’t try it!

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Anticipation. Frank has RSVPed by email, with enthusiasm. But what about the others? Will they come to our dinner? I wonder about the restaurant…

A missing wallet, nakedness, email from a thief

A missing wallet, nakedness, email from a thief

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Thieves find us, more. It was a big day for us, and for the whole documentary team. The lowlifers stealing Bob’s wallet, finding Marc…

The best pickpocket, self-proclaimed

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Thieves find us, continued. We’re not looking for pickpockets; just busy filming pickup shots on the bus for the documentary, when known thieves Marc…

A lowlife, drug-addled pickpocket

A lowlife, drug-addled pickpocket

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Thieves find us. “Police, police! She took my wallet!” That’s Bob screaming at ear-splitting volume. Not his usual reaction to pickpocketing! Usually, he turns…

Getting used to cameras on me all day

Getting used to cameras on me all day

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On making a documentary. As I said, you’d think a documentary is just a camera following the action—but the action must be lit and…

Bob Arno teaches pickpockets to steal moneybelts

Bob Arno teaches pickpockets to steal moneybelts

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Day Two, Meeting with Thieves. It rained. We stood waiting in the drizzle in a park behind some kiddie carnival rides, pretty certain they…

Just listening flatters the thieves

Just listening flatters the thieves

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Thiefhunting, Day One, still more. This is an old-fashioned town, lightly touched by the 21st century. Vendors ply the streets like the horse-and-buggy days…

Pickpockets, meet the film crew

Pickpockets, meet the film crew

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Thiefhunting, Day One, more. We’ve been standing in the tiny coffee bar more than an hour, speaking loudly. Eventually, the owner throws us out….

The human side of cold, heartless criminals

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Thiefhunting, Day One, continued. Bob and I were on a high, having found a talented pickpocket team on the first bus ride of our…

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary—part 6

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary—part 6

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Thiefhunting, Day One, continued. As we synchronize our thiefhunting plans with the film crew, I’m newly appreciative of Michele, our London-based sound recordist, who…

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary—part 5

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary—part 5

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Thiefhunting, Day One. Fully half the day is spent rigging hidden cameras. I’m wearing a button camera attached to an awful button-down shirt that…

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary-Part 3

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary-Part 3

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“They’ve bugged our room,” I postulated to Bob in the taxi from the airport. “I bet they hid video cameras inside.” That aspect of…

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary—part 2

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary—part 2

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“Are you wearing a bra?” That was one of the first sentences directed to me upon landing in our location city. We did not…

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary

Bob Arno “Pickpocket King” National Geographic documentary

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Day 1—TIME TO MAKE an announcement. Our long-dreamed of, long-worked-for project has become reality. Bob and I are making a documentary about pickpockets. The…

My book of thieves now available for Kindle!

My book of thieves now available for Kindle!

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I’m thrilled to announce the availability of my book, Travel Advisory: How to Avoid Thefts, Cons, and Street Scams on Amazon for the Kindle….

H&R Block reneges on promise, cops-out on client

H&R Block reneges on promise, cops-out on client

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When a giant corporation closes its shutters and bolts its doors against its own client, its like a reverse prison. I, the client, feel…

Our National Geographic documentary “Pickpocket King”

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Bob and I are thrilled to announce the world premiere of the documentary we shot late last year with National Geographic. Pickpocket King features…