Travel Advisory

pickpockets in Naples

Coffee with pickpockets in Naples

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Coffee with Thieves An August Sunday in Naples. Holiday time for all of Europe and most shops were shut. We bought bus tickets at…

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A Pickpocket in Athens “kicks the poke”

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The moments you’re boarding public transportation are your riskiest in the world of pickpocketry. A pickpocket in Athens shows us just how slick, and…

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Fake jewelry doesn't thwart pickpockets.

Fake jewelry doesn’t thwart pickpockets

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Almost all of the opportunist pickpocket’s dirty work is preventable. I agree, it’s not practical to live in preparation for the worst at any…

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Purse hanging on baby stroller

The Unattended Purse

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Just a little reminder to women… A thief needs only a few seconds to assume ownership of unattended riches. Those few seconds are easily…

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A taxi in Chennai, India.

Traveling? Don’t be Self-Ripped

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Pickpockets, thieves, and con artists aren’t to be blamed for all losses. When you travel, don’t rip yourself off due to ignorance or naiveté….

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

Pickpocket steals from jacket on cafe chair

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

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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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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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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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Hotel Front Desk Safe Theft

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Hotel front desk safe Natalie is a tour sales manager for one of the major cruise lines. She’s an experienced world traveler and accustomed…

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Watch-stealing thief demonstrates

Watch-stealing

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Wristwatches are a classic subject of seizure. The problem is not widespread, but concentrated largely in specific locales. Naples, Italy, is only one of…

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How to steal a Rolex off a driver’s wrist

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When we interviewed Luciano in Naples, Italy, our translator, a Napolitano, explained how Rolexes are stolen off the wrists of drivers in the summer….

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Skimmers for credit card fraud

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A little background, as reference for my next post: A skimmer is a battery-operated device smaller than a deck of cards with a slot…

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Humor in the book business

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Is it humorous, or just pathetic? I got a letter in the mail this week from a literary agent. His letter was dated and…

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Thieves in airports

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So you’ve made it through security. Does that mean you’re in a secure area? Not secure enough to relax your attention. Thieves have been…

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Confessions of an airport thief

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Kharem’s Lucky Haul Kharem, a pickpocket in Spain, sometimes chooses Barcelona’s airport over the rich pickings of the city. When Bob and I again…

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Airport danger and the strategist thief

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“Did you know you’re wearing mismatched shoes?” a well-dressed Englishman said to our friend, Brooks, at London’s Heathrow airport one day. Brooks was talking…

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Cash or credit card?

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Don’t be self-ripped That means: do your research. Besides knowing the tricks and scams prevalent in your destination, you should be up-to-date on currency….

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Scooter-riding bandits

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Stung by a Wasp: Scooter-Riding Bandits Buzz Bob and Bambi I didn’t think it could happen to me. There was no forewarning. One moment…

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Research crime before your trip

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It was Cecily’s dream vacation: she and her family had rented an ancient stone farmhouse near St.-Paul-de-Vence on the French Riviera. Recently renovated to…

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Shoebox-camera

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Over the years we minimized our equipment as we acquired smaller and smaller cameras of broadcast quality. With lighter equipment we became more maneuverable,…

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Filming pickpockets

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Bob and I began our field research on street thievery in 1993, when we quit our steady jobs in Las Vegas to combine freelancing…

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X-ray glasses

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High and Dry on the Streets of Elsewhere Chapter One, part-g, Travel Advisory— Barcelona, a fusion of passion and creativity, chaos and order, where…

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One man

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High and Dry on the Streets of Elsewhere Chapter One, part-f, Travel Advisory — One man loses his wallet. It’s a small crime, a…

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An ordinary day in the center of Rome

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High and Dry on the Streets of Elsewhere Chapter One, part-e, Travel Advisory – A somber crowd was gathered outside the police station. While…

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Bottomfeeders of the criminal hierarchy

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High and Dry on the Streets of Elsewhere Chapter One, part-c, Travel Advisory Bob and I hit the ground and I squinted at the…

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Thievery, connery, scamdom, and swindlehood

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High and Dry on the Streets of Elsewhere Chapter One, part-b, Travel Advisory If law enforcement can’t turn the trend, perhaps Bob and I…

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Get your hand out of my pocket!

Get your * hand out of my pocket!

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“Hey! Hey! Hey! Get your fucking hand out of my pocket! You try to steal my wallet again and I’ll kill you!” The would-be…

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travel industry’s dirty little secret

The travel industry’s dirty little secret

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Bob and I contend that the crimes of street thieves, so often dubbed “petty,” are not that at all. First, tally the sheer number…

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