[Guest post] Ever been a victim of pickpockets?

Today, a yashvinblogs.com reader wants to share her bad experience of getting pickpocket’d in the capital. That terrific situation can turn worst if you have lost valuable items which cannot be blocked, cancelled or issues again. Hold onto your wallet. Some pickpockets are so skilled that they can unzip a purse while a victim walks down the street. Pickpockets and thieves form part of the scums of this planet!

Here we go…

Pickpocketing is maybe one of the most ancient and most prevalent corruptions in the world. A skilled pickpocket can run away with just as much money as an equipped burglar, without much danger of conflict or risk of being identified. By the time the victim realizes what has happened, the pickpocket is long gone. And there’s very little hope of getting any of it back. All of this is definitely bad news.

It’s the festive season during which people will be shopping for Christmas or New Year and thieves will be taking advantage of this situation. If you’re not constantly on guard, you might get robbed.

My misadventure

It all dated on a beautiful Saturday when I was off to do some shopping (which I actually hate). My friends and I were so hungry that we headed towards Mr. Kebab, in Port-Louis. I removed my mobile pouch (also used as a wallet), took out Rs50 and placed it back in the exterior pocket of my back bag. After purchasing the khebab, we walked for a few seconds, with my friends being behind me.

However, when I turned my bag, I saw it wide open!

I kept my calm and searched for the mobile pouch but in vain!

I then asked my friends if it was with them, but unfortunately no! I immediately returned to the kebab seller to ask if they saw anyone taking something form my bag. They confessed that it might be some pickpockets who are numerous in the area. We even walked towards the workshop to ask people there but still nothing. Finally, I talked to two police officers who advised me to go to the police station.

At the police station

So my friends and I went to the Trou Fanfaron Police Station; I said I lost my mobile pouch with my mobile phone, bus pass, debit cards, ID cards, my mirror, my key ring and less than Rs200.

The first thing I did was to call 150 and asked for my bank’s hotline number to block the cards. The police officers took my statement and gave me some memos so that I can apply for a new student bus pass, ID card and the ATM cards.

The cost to issue

  • a new student bus pass is Rs300 + you need a police Memorandum,
  • new ID card: Rs100 + a police Memorandum again and
  • thankfully, you can also get back your lost telephone number by contacting your carrier for a fee of Rs100.

As for the blocked cards, the MCB hotline gave me an ID number to confirm the lost and request a new debit card, to be collected with this ID number while for the other banks, one should personally request for a new card.

Useful hotlines

  • SBM: 207 0111
  • Bramer bank: 405 4500
  • MCB: 202 6000
  • MPCB: 405 9400 / 207999

Being careful

  • Wear backpacks on your front if you must wear one in a crowd. It’s best not to have anything important in your backpack, at all.
  • Leave nothing unattended.
  • Always store valuables in a front pocket or a secret pocket. Make sure it is not sticking out of your pocket either
  • Keep your valuables under your clothing and be extremely vigilant at ATMs.
  • Touching or fiddling with the pocket where you carry your belongings tells the pickpocket where you carry your valuables. This is a regrettable error and drops a huge hint of where you keep your things, not only to the pickpocket but also to the public.
  • Carry only one day’s worth of money in your wallet or purse.
  • Abstain from digging through your wallet or counting money in public.
  • Shorten the strap on any purse or bag you carry.
  • Pick up credit cards and other valuables as soon as the cashier returns them.
  • Be alert to what’s going on around you.
  • Remember that pickpockets do not wear masks! They are normal people and blend in with the scene. They can be young or old, male or female. Children, teens, and even seniors can be pickpockets, so be alert everywhere and every time!

All of these precautions are not to make you so fearful but once learned, they can only add to your awareness. Use instincts and a little practicality to avoid being a victim. None would ever expect they would be pick pocketed.

Have you ever gone through this situation?

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  • Sometimes, especially before the festive season shopping-rush throngs, I ask myself if I should put a razor between my money notes, but I’m not masochistic enough to enjoy the possible consequences….

  • lol. That makes me remember a joke which I will tell you later on, perhaps during the long due lunch 😛

  • You know, I fear these things. That’s why I always choose jeans with tight pockets. And I never keep money or mobile in my bag.

  • Good idea.

  • Is it the one with the soldier who gets his tongue cut off for disobeying his master? As a matter of fact, the “anti-pickpocket idea” is directly inspired from that joke… 🙂

  • Ladies should hold their handbags in front of them, not loose on the side. Men best to keep wallets in front pockets with your hand on it while in crowds. Never put wallets in back pockets. Closed zip pockets are ideal but usually only available when wearing jackets. Back bags are convenient but unfortunately they are primary targets of pickpockets. When using an ATM I usually have my wife at my side facing out. This blocks any view of the screen and deters any pickpocket attempts from your rear. Avoid taking out and opening your wallet in public places unless you are paying. Don’t put your valuables down on a counter or table while paying, keep the wallet firmly in your hand. My training includes crowd awareness, be aware of your surroundings! Enough of this paranoia or is it modern living?

  • bird.dodo

    i think he was making reference to that joke too 🙂
    As a matter of fact, people should be way more careful amidst the crowded areas..remind me of once there were pick pocket at the curepipe bus station, he was mostly acting on the line where there was a large crowd, the post to Riviere des galets which is always crowded..a guy was beside me whn a bus came, and there was a crowd to get in..when i just saw his face when wild. asked him wat happened, he told me his purse disapearred…he just felt his pocket become empty and when he put his hands in, it was gone..