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to tell people to be aware of thieves while xmas shopping

(31 Posts)
MsMarvel Thu 27-Nov-14 14:26:09

Yesterday in town I'm pretty sure I nearly had my bag stolen. I was walking along a pedestrianised area and noticed a guy walking quite close to my right shoulder. I slowed down thinking he wanted past me, and he slowed down too. I then sped up again and so Did he.

I was starting to get freaked out at this point and stopped dead. He stopped abruptly as well and then quickly turned and walked into the nearest shop. I went into a different shop to hide for a while and when I left about 5 mins later he walked past me in the opposite direction, so he must have come out of the shop he went into as soon as I was out of sight.

Tbh it might not even have been anything, but I had my handbag over my right shoulder. Nothing was taken from my bag, so he wasn't a pickpocket, but I suspect he was looking for a good moment to grab my bag and run. It really freaked me out.

Please be careful of busy city centres, and scummy thieves who are taking advantage of distracted people in town doing Xmas shopping.

youareallbonkers Thu 27-Nov-14 15:55:27

I think anyone who NEEDS to be told this isn't actually going to take any notice. However not every stranger is out to harm you

Minerves Thu 27-Nov-14 16:06:47

once i was out with a friend quite late at night and there was a man on the other side of the road who i noticed staring at us, i didn't tell my friend but got her to turn around and we walked the other way, and the man did the same, again i turned us around and the man turned around too. other side of the road but clearly following us. very scary! i ended up saying lets go into a restaurant and told her abotu eh man when we got inside

DoraGora Thu 27-Nov-14 16:07:34

If you see somebody acting suspiciously, the best thing to do is make sure that you get a good description of them and tell the local police. The police are making a brilliant job of not being around and when around, being impossible to speak to, but there it is.

lollilou Thu 27-Nov-14 16:08:32

Last year my Mum went to get a cup of tea. She put her carrier bags next to her and chatted to my sister. When they got up to leave one of them had gone. Def stolen.sad

MsMarvel Thu 27-Nov-14 16:15:11

It's nice to assume that everyone is going to be on guard and alert all the time, but I just thought I'd give a wee reminder that it just takes a split second of being distracted, trying to think of what else you need to buy, noticing something in a shop window or struggling with lots of bags, for someone to take advantage.

Not sure why you seem to have taken offence to a friendly warning youareallbonkers?

LightastheBreeze Thu 27-Nov-14 16:27:03

YANBU as someone who nearly had their bag stolen on holiday and then when they realised they were not going to get my bag off me, they went and grabbed another woman's bag, which was casually slung over her shoulder. It was ripped from her, bruising all her arm and has made me permanently vigilant, after this I always use a cross body bag and hold it close, it was really scary.

Nomama Thu 27-Nov-14 16:31:19

I was stalked like that last year. I used my Nana's trick... I stopped and pointed, long straight arm, directly at the person who was bothering me.... they walked off really quickly.

Doesn't always work, I once had to splutter something about how sorry I was as they looked just like someone I knew... sorry, sorry, bye smile

MsMarvel Thu 27-Nov-14 16:47:08

My dp has advised me to get a hot water and lemon from a coffee shop if I'm in town on my own, so that I have something to throw at them. Don't know if that's a bit excessive though.

I normally have my hand resting over the flap of my bag anyway, so I can catch it in case the strap falls off my shoulder. So I Imagine he might have been following me to wait till I moved my hand to check my phone, or flick my hair, or any other number of reasons why I might move my hand if I wasn't paying attention.

Allbymyselfagain Thu 27-Nov-14 16:54:19

A timely reminder! My dad nearly had his wallet pick pocketed in town a while ago. My mum spotted the guy walking really close to dad with his eyes on his back pocket (where dad, having been told a thousand times not to, still keeps it!) my mum moved behind dad and inbetween them and this guy was still right behind them. In the end she put her hand in dads back pocket over his wallet and gave the guy a filthy look. The guy turned around and walked in the opposite direction so definatly dodgy.
I think we just all have to be extra vigilant.

iamjustlurking Thu 27-Nov-14 17:00:21

I took my late teen DD into town last week I we sat on a chair in a shop whilst they showed me handbags. I had my bags all round my feet with my handbag between them.
Someone must have sneaked round and picked one up. Totally gutting didn't notice until I stood up to go to the till.

nancy75 Thu 27-Nov-14 17:06:27

I used to work n a shoe shop, thieves know women put their bags down to try on shoes and then leave them on the floor while they walk over to the mirror, shoe shod and cafes are the worst places for it happening. It always amazed me how people would just leave stuff unattended. If I am going somewhere likely to be very busy I use a small cross body bag under my coat

DollyParsnip Thu 27-Nov-14 17:11:30

Also a reminder to keep bags of newly purchased stuff close by. There has been a spate of these robberies near me - people putting shopping into trollies or onto seats in cafes and finding they've gone later. They can be returned or swapped in stores (even without original cards).

Fluffyears Thu 27-Nov-14 17:31:56

I was in shop abroad and felt my bag being tugged then noticed it was wide open (I akways close it) then noticed a shifty looking couple who legged it out of shop. Luckily they didn't get anything. I also had a guy pretend to stagger into me and put his hand in my bag one night. I jabbed his arm with my keys.

sherapower Thu 27-Nov-14 18:01:07

YANBU; I had a bag stolen last year in a similar fashion. sad

I think if I were in a crowded place with lots of people around I would spin around and yell "BACK OFF, ARE YOU FOLLOWING ME?!" in the loudest and most deranged voice I could muster perhaps with demented hand waving in their direction. Making a spectacle and drawing attention to their behaviour is the last thing they want and crazy is really unpredictable and scary and they like predictable so they can control the encounter.

Oh and if you are going to be in a place likely to be rife with pickpockets I suggest a cross body bag and a safety pin to secure the zip.

Cleio Thu 27-Nov-14 18:22:05

I had my phone ripped out of my hand as I was coming out of a bank sending a text. There was a security guard there who did nothing other then saying it happens all time.

Wouldn't have minded so much (old crappy phone) except the fucker thought it necessary to push me over in the process. I was 39 weeks pregnant at the time and could barely walk for a few days from sore muscles. Couldn't get up without help either!

When I went to report it with the guards they kindly offered to drop me at the hospital though.

Anyway, point is, mind your phone as well. Smart phones are a popular target and they will happily rip tgem out of your hand as you're using it.

Poolomoomon Thu 27-Nov-14 19:44:45

Yy to phones. I always use a small cross body bag and keep it really close to me and try and avoid getting my phone out as much as possible in public too. I witnessed a woman getting hers ripped out of her hands once and it's stayed with me since. Bastards they are angry. Also try not to carry much cash on you, I very rarely have more than a tenner in cash on me and just use my card to pay for everything. It's easy to call the bank up quickly and let them know, can't get money back though.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Thu 27-Nov-14 21:08:40

Yes op good post.

I use satchel type bag so would need to be abducted if someone wanted my money. smile

gastrognome Fri 28-Nov-14 05:36:30

I've lived in a few cities where pickpocketing/bag snatching is rife so it is second nature to me to be careful now. Always keep bag tightly under my arm with zips/openings against my body. Never put bag on back of chair or out of sight in a cafe or restaurant. Etc etc.
I'd never buy a handbag that doesn't have a zip closure either - so many bags are completely open, or just have a popper/magnet in the middle.

ScrambledEggAndToast Fri 28-Nov-14 06:36:17

Nomama gringrin

Love it, not sure I would have the nerve!

Iggly Fri 28-Nov-14 06:45:14

Nomama that is awesome advice and has made me laugh. Not sure I'd try it as a wuss.

I tend to put my valuables in my pockets - phone, keys and wallet. I get coats with big pockets, inside ones if possible. Am paranoid - but I live and work in London where this happens a lot to friends.

youareallbonkers Fri 28-Nov-14 08:03:42

Not taken offence, just a bit hmm about all strangers being out to harm us and us being too stupid to take care of our positions without being told.

maddening Fri 28-Nov-14 08:07:00

when we were little mum was paying at a till and had lots of bags by a feet as she paid - all stolen from right by her.

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