Depending on where you go, you may need to prepare yourself for pickpockets. As a traveller, you may be a target of theft since someone is betting that you got a fancy camera or a lot of cash on you.
However, have no fear! Travelers have compiled anti-theft strategies through their experiences. Here are ten tips to not get your stuff stolen.
Don’t Show Off Your Stuff
To not even get someone attempting to pickpocket you in the first place, it may be a good idea to hide your wallet, jewellery, and camera. Even if your jewellery does not cost that much, you should still hide it because a common pickpocket may not know any better.
Avoid Putting Things in Your Back Pockets
Most pickpockets come from the back. It just makes sense so that you cannot see them. In that light, just avoid putting any objects in your back pockets. In a crowded place, you may not feel someone pulling your phone out while you are already shoulder to shoulder with others.
Divide Your Money
Do not keep all your money in one place, because if a thief somehow steals that one wallet or cut that one pocket . . . then you are in trouble. What a lot of travellers do is divide their money between various spots on their body, luggage, and where they are staying.
Buy Pickpocket Proof Supplies
Sometimes money is a quick problem-solver. If you have the funds to do it, then you can buy pickpocket proof bags, pants, and more. The clothes have many pockets that are layered with protection such as additional buttons and zippers.
Have Hidden Pockets
A pickpocket cannot take your things if they cannot even see the pocket you are keeping them in. A lot of travellers keep hidden bags and pockets under their shirts where they cannot be seen. It is perfect for little items like your cash, phone, or a credit card.
Know the Tricks Pickpockets Use
Pickpockets have a lot of tricks in order to steal your stuff without you noticing. One such trick is by bumping into you. Another is to spill something on you and then try to help clean it off. A sad truth of areas of poverty is that a lot of pickpockets are little kids. One may offer to take a picture of your or another will offer an umbrella while a friend pickpockets you. Do not be hostile if this happens, because there is a chance, they are not pickpockets and actually are genuine.
Keep Your Wits About You in Crowds
Crowds are where most pickpockets do their work. People are busy, distracted, and are used to perhaps feeling something graze them once in a while. Due to all that, crowds are where pickpockets have the most success in stealing and sneaking off without being noticed.
Anchor Your Bag
Lastly is what to do if you have luggage or a large bag. If you are sitting, standing, or taking a break and not moving, then we suggest anchoring your bag. That means looping it over a chair leg, table leg, or even your own leg. With an anchor, if someone tries to take the bag, they are going to be stuck and will have to either run without the bag or get caught in the act.
By Allison Stalberg