How to Pro­tect Your­self From Pick­pock­ets

The Washington Post Sunday - - Way To Go -

Short of glu­ing your purse or pants pock­ets shut, there’s no fool­proof way to fend off pick­pock­ets. But here are some strate­gies that can help lower your risk of be­com­ing a vic­tim. K Pick­pock­ets don’t just come out af­ter dark, nor do they hang around only tourist spots and trans­porta­tion hubs. They strike at all hours, in all venues, es­pe­cially where money changes hands. So be on alert at banks, cur­rency ex­change booths, out­door food stands and open-air mar­kets, among other venues. Pick­pocket zones also in­clude plazas, car­ni­vals and sim­i­lar places where there are crowds and lots of jostling. Of course, your pocket can be picked on an empty street; some­one can “knock” into you and walk away with your wal­let — so keep your dis­tance. K Avoid com­mo­tion. Pick­pock­ets of­ten cre­ate dis­trac­tions to catch tourists un­aware. Sadly, as cute as groups of chil­dren may be, they aren’t al­ways so an­gelic. While you are fawn­ing over them, one may be slip­ping her tiny fin­gers into your pocket. If you see a gag­gle of kids or adults ap­proach­ing, walk away swiftly and avoid eye con­tact. K The most vul­ner­a­ble places to keep your wal­let are in back pants pock­ets, coat jacket pock­ets, back­packs and fanny packs (es­pe­cially if they are be­hind you). D.C. po­lice say pick­pock­ets of­ten avoid front trouser pock­ets, es­pe­cially if they are but­toned or zip­pered. For fur­ther re­in­force­ment, put a rub­ber band around your wal­let; the band’s fric­tion against the fab­ric of your clothes can act as an alarm. Chains that at­tach your wal­let to an­other item of cloth­ing also can foil pick­pock­ets. K If you are car­ry­ing your wal­let in a purse or bag, place it deep inside a zip­pered or but­toned pouch. Wear shoul­der bags across your body and in front (even bet­ter, slide your bag on first, then your coat, but­toned tight). Hold hand­bags close to your body, not dan­gling from a hand or wrist. If you are wear­ing a money belt or neck pouch, tuck it inside your cloth­ing and con­ceal the strap or string. K Di­vide your money into sep­a­rate stashes and needs. In one se­cure place, carry enough money to cover that day’s ex­penses; if you are go­ing to a mar­ket or busy place where you will be dip­ping into your wal­let of­ten, carry only what you need. Else­where (around your neck or in a sock, for ex­am­ple), place a sec­ond pile of money and other valu­ables. K Don’t pat your pocket to check for your wal­let: That’s like a big sign scream­ing, “Pick­pocket me!” Also, never count your cash in the open. Put away your change as quickly as pos­si­ble. K Don’t flash your sta­tus. Leave off glit­tery jew­elry and swap the high-fash­ion watch and sun­glasses for dime-store brands. K Carry only the es­sen­tials. If you are jug­gling mul­ti­ple sacks and bags, you might not re­al­ize some­thing is miss­ing un­til it’s too late.

— An­drea Sachs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.