3 good reflexes against street robbery

Posted on December 21, 2015

Updated December 30, 2022

1 – Use your cell phone wisely

The smartphone is today the source of most thefts. Expensive (600 to 800 euros), these phones are very easy to resell on the parallel market.

What can happen to you?

Just before the train doors close, a thug snatches it out of your hands. While you are calling in the street, people on scooters approach you to steal it. While you have a coffee on the terrace, you leave your phone on the table…

Advice from a field police officer

Don't show off your phone, especially if it's a coveted Apple iPhone-type model. Avoid calling while walking, your attention span is too limited. Otherwise, always bring the phone closer to the wall, you will complicate or even prohibit the “work” of thieves who will not be able to get through. When not in use, never leave your phone in sight.

How to react if the damage has already been done

Inform your operator to block your line. Otherwise, out-of-package communications (calls and Internet connections) consumed between the time of flight and line blocking will remain your responsibility. Unless you have specific insurance that covers this cost (with a limit of €1,500 to €3,000 depending on the contract).

Keep your phone's IMEI identification number to notify your operator in case of theft. You can disable it remotely and the device will be unusable for the thief. This 15-digit number appears on your purchase invoice, on the box label, or by typing *#06# on your keyboard.

2 – Monitor bag, wallet and jewelry

After the telephone, and with the price of gold at its highest (more than 30 euros per gram of gold), jewelry thefts are increasing. Handbags also remain popular.

What can happen to you?

You carry your purse or bag carelessly on your shoulder in a public place. Or because they saw you withdrawing money from an ATM or even because you are wearing jewelry in a conspicuous way, criminals decide to take it from you.

Advice from a field police officer

Consider using a bag hook, a small and practical accessory to hang on any table and prevent someone clever from stealing it by slipping it between your feet or lifting it off the back of your chair. When walking, carry the bag preferably on your shoulder and always towards the wall, to avoid being snatched.

How to react if the damage has already been done

Start by screaming, even if it means appearing hysterical. This attitude can destabilize the thief and prompt the assistance of a citizen. Don't resist too much, your physical integrity is worth more than your effects. And of course, file a complaint giving as much detail as possible. The witnesses will be valuable to the investigation.

3 – Be careful with the point theft ploy

This is a recent variant of theft by deception in which older people are the preferred target.

What can happen to you?

One or two people tell you about a huge stain on your clothes. This is an excuse to harass you. When trying to clean up the mess (which of course they made themselves), they take the opportunity to pick your pockets. Goodbye wallet, phone…

Advice from a field police officer

Don't accept any help, even if it seems sincere. And don't take off your coat, it will disappear immediately. It is better to pay for dry cleaning. These people operate in crowded places to drown in the crowds. Large-scale shopping malls.

How to react if the damage has already been done

Try to memorize the most accurate description of your thieves and call the emergency police on 17. The chances of finding your belongings depend on the speed of the intervention. Present your means of payment (bank card and checkbook) to your bank and file a complaint.

Read :

Nicolas Kaci, our police officer, gathered about 500 clues in the “ Prevention guide against scams, theft and attacks »ed. Albin Michel (€14.90)

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