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Post re. thieves on TGV

There was a post this am about a couple that had items stolen out of their suitcases on a train. I thought the post was a helpful reminder. Yes, there were some suggestions that perhaps some disagreed with and OP was understandably upset, but all in all, it was a helpful post. I think the OP was probably disappointed in some of the responses and removed the post. Others now will not be able to benefit from the information.

Posted by
2561 posts

Well I thought it was valuable as well. But, when you post a story you think is valuable and someone responds regarding your need to use paragraphs? I don’t think grammar lessons should be part of a response. And, the OP made a point-the suitcase in question was out of sight for some time and she worried that someone could have planted contraband, even explosives, during that time and was concerned as there is no pre-boarding security. She got flamed for that one as well. Can’t blame her for just saying the heck with this and pulling the post.

Posted by
2399 posts

Were suitcases locked and visible in overhead racks?

The suitcase was unlocked and out of sight.

I didn't post my comments because I figured they would just offend the OP. BUT, anything valuable or remotely "nice" stays in my pack - not my suitcase - and the pack never gets stowed anywhere except in my lap or next to me.

Posted by
2940 posts

It is a useful reminder to keep valuables within your lap or arms. Years ago, a friend riding on a long-distance train reached up to the overhead rack and took his camera out of his suitcase (a big no-no right there) to take a photo out the train window. He then put the camera back. Later he went to the restroom on the train. Hours later, opening the suitcase, he found that the camera was gone.

Most fellow train passengers are honest, but yes there are professional thieves as well as those willing to take advantage of someone else's carelessness giving them an opportunity to swipe something of value.

Posted by
8412 posts

Too bad it's gone. It was a good reminder not to be too trusting and not to let valuables out of sight. It happens in planes, too. People have reported having items stolen out of carry-on luggage that was in the overhead bin during nap time over the Atlantic and Pacific.

Posted by
4268 posts

I agree with you Alan. Once upon a time we were all less experienced travelers and even many experienced travelers have lapses. Rick Steves was pickpocketed in Paris this year. Stuff happens. I have greatly benefited by the info on this forum and I've also contributed where I felt helpful. If everyone was experienced and knew everything, there would be no need for the forum. This person wasn't just "venting" he was providing information that was helpful to others.

Posted by
3789 posts

That's unfortunate.
What's it been? 3 weeks since the forum monitors' request to tone down the criticism. Some have short memories, or didn't bother to read it in the first place.

Posted by
31473 posts

I'm surprised that the thieves just stole a few items out of the suitcases, and didn't just take the entire suitcase. I've seen that happen on trains in Europe. In any case this is a good reminder to keep watch on luggage, especially if it's in the rack at the end of the coach. On one of my rail trips in Italy, my pack was unceremoniously dumped out in the foyer by some inconsiderate boob that wanted to make room for his bike. My bag could have easily been thrown off the train at the next stop as it was in the way. It's a good thing I spotted it in time.

Posted by
2020 posts

I am the person who pointed out that paragraphs would have been helpful.

And I stand behind it. The post was VERY hard to read and follow IMHO. Breaking it up makes it easier to read and will generally get you more responses. If people can't or won't read your information it's basically useless IMHO.

Sorry that I bothered some of you, but I also think the OP was upset that people didn't automatically assume that he/she did nothing wrong. I don't think they did. I leave my luggage in those baggage areas and really don't worry about it. I do watch at stops, but honestly on every train I have been on my luggage generally is so buried the only way a thief is going to get it is they cut open the train from the outside (in which case we have other issues).

The poster was also probably upset that we didn't all want TSA type security on every train.

Posted by
21733 posts

Kind of agree with Carol. I don't know why the posting was pulled. I didn't post to it but thought the posting had some inconsistencies that didn't make sense to me. But, recognize that in telling the story some points are enhanced and others over looked. The biggest take away was, Make sure your luggage is locked. And then the whole business of a TSA type of security for trains was over blown. And when you post in a public forum you should expect a little push back from time to time. Go ahead -- push.

Posted by
5786 posts

I didn't read the deleted post in question. Most posts reporting personal theft ("scams") are from less experienced travelers who are just trying to be helpful. Usually not a lot new to seasoned travelers on this forum.

I wonder what baggage thieves are looking for and stole. I keep electronics and cameras in my "personal" bag and close to me. My "big bag" in the luggage closet are for the most part clothing and sundries. We do travel with expensive XC skis and poles, but it would be hard for a thief to run with a big ski box. And who steals Nordic skis? That said, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your stuff in France.

Posted by
8299 posts

I didn’t read the thread but i agree with Carol. Paragraphs, and making what you want to say easy to read, is very helpful. I skip posts that are hard to read, it’s too annoying.

Posted by
21087 posts

I agree that paragraphs are very helpful, but if I were going to make that criticism of someone's post (a pot-calling-the-kettle-black situation since my own posts have so many typos), I would do it via a personal message.

Posted by
27759 posts

for those who didn't read it before it went over the horizon, the bag was apparently removed from the luggage rack, missed, then replaced but near a suspicious looking (at the end of the post they said they didn't want to say anything ethnic or racial - which of course says it all) young man holding his hands in a strange way. When they eventually opened it with the conductor, bose wireless headphones, a dress, and something else (collective memory request here) of apparent value was missing. They were upset because they thought a bomb might have been planted in their suitcase, and the conductor wasn't worried.

Is that about right, boys and girls?

Posted by
2479 posts

Pretty much. I stopped with the idea that a bomb might have been placed in it, and that was why they wanted TSA searches.

Posted by
8412 posts

My read was that the racks were full, so they left the luggage between the cars, in the area where the doors open.

Posted by
4268 posts

Its kind of tough since we no longer have the post. I never read anything specific about a possible bomb, I thought they were reporting that the suitcases were out of sight which is what one does at an airport. Also, I read the whole TSA thing as questioning/wondering why there was no security for trains. It seemed to me to be a rather passive post. Sometimes what people write is not necessarily what they mean and sometimes what people read is not necessarily what the author intended. I spent a fair amount of time this morning trying to phrase a question for the forum so that it was concise and clear but yet fully explained what I was looking for.

I did not find the post to be a "woe is me, whiney post" or "I will never go to France again, it's a stupid country with stupid people" Just a caution, which is why I thought it important. There are posts that I read that could have better grammar, or be more concise or provide more information (some of them probably my own), but when I have something to offer, I just try to respond as best I can. Many on the forum are trying to help others with their posts or have honest questions or concerns because they are learning. I realized when raising 4 kids and then realized it applied to many interactions, sometimes the best first response is, "I'm so sorry that happened to you, that must have been frustrating, sad, maddening, etc". "Thank you so much for telling me". Then in a bit of time, "I wonder if you thought of, or could have, or in the future you might. . ."

Posted by
4689 posts

There actually was an incident many years back of a case being stolen off a train in the UK that actually contained an IRA bomb, or at least a kit for making one. On that occasion the person who took it was not charged in the end ...

Posted by
12898 posts

Yes, the OP was questioning why would the thief take a dress as the other missing items were easier to understand as theft items.

I had the impression that the OP had expected some sort of luggage inspection prior to boarding, a la the EuroStar which obviously does not take place.

The disadvantage with riding the TGV is that you may very well have to put your luggage at the end near the door and your reserved seat is far away from it. Luckily, I've not had to store luggage that way but found space nearby or the reserved was close by.

Posted by
4695 posts

I saw the post and read it. The OP got jumped on a bit but in an understandable way. They seemed a bit alarmist and uninformed. Not the first or last time that will happen here.

I guess I don’t understand why that post was deemed worthy of a follow up? Why are we even having this conversation?

Posted by
21087 posts

I missed the original post, so I'm glad Jules mentioned it. Thefts from luggage on trains are rarely reported, so it was a useful reminder to me. I can't lift my bag overhead, so it is usually not within my eyesight. The bag is always locked, but I'm not quite at 100% on remembering to transfer prescription meds to my purse or tote. It seems I need to do better, though why anyone would look at the way I dress (and the $15 jewelry I wear) and think there's something valuable in my bag, I do not know.

Posted by
27759 posts

Those aren't hidden cameras. They are in every station and in most trains. On the trains they cover everywhere but the driving cabs and toilets. BTP will ask for footage from the railway company in the event of a (very rare) incident.

But of course this is England and the OP was France.

Posted by
4268 posts

I try in real life to avoid controversy. My point in reposting the OP's post was, IMO it was a good reminder to keep watch over luggage. I have left luggage at the beginning of the train car on occasion, when for whatever reason it was necessary, and honestly didn't give much thought to it. When I was having shoulder problems and traveling alone, there was no way, I was going to be able to lift my suitcase over my head. Because I pack very light (carry on suitcase and personal item) there may be items in my suitcase that I would consider to be of moderate value because it didn't fit in my personal item. My ipad, phone, camera, money, passport, credit cards would be with me.

I have traveled North America extensively. I also have traveled in Europe more than many and I do a lot of research for my travels. There are occasions, when I read something whether its related to travel logistics or safety/ security and think, wow, I've never thought of that and that is something I want to think about or be careful of in the future. New or less experienced travelers are going to be more alarmed than frequent posters on this forum and they might think something is more of a problem/concern than knowledgeable travelers believe. That doesn't mean they are crazy, alarmist or stupid.

Who knows why a dress was stolen and I'm not sure it's relevant. Maybe it fell out. Maybe it was grabbed to cover other stolen articles, maybe it was cute?

I would be curious if the webmaster might want to chime in who this forum is for. Is it for travelers that are learning or need advice? Or is it for people that have traveled extensively and know every secret and possible pitfall. I will say that on many occasions, I have received a personal message from someone that said, "I'd like to share this with you but don't want it put it publicly on the forum because of past comments I've received".

Posted by
12898 posts

Often times on the ICE I've had to move another person's luggage ( just a bit ) to make space for my luggage, obviously when that piece was barging in space or taking up space where I could fit my piece in between.

When you do this, you do this discreetly. Luckily, I've never been "jumped on" by anyone when I've had to make a just enough space for my spinner or in the past the suit case. I hardly see Americans taking the ICE, not in my coach either. .

Posted by
8299 posts

“One thing I will never understand about this forum is the apparent need to constantly over exaggerate the risk from crime when travelling. The constant banging on anout thieves, scams etc etc stops being educational and becomes scaremongering.“

Agree with you emma. I think it’s related to the high level of crime in the US. Most Americans are conditioned to it and see it everywhere. It’s projection.

Posted by
1822 posts

Well, I guess I missed that post.

Last time I took the Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam, the train official on the platform told me to get up at each stop and watch that my bag was not taken off by someone else.
I've been doing that for years on trains all over the place anyway, but interesting that a train company employee would warn people nowadays.
The trick is to book a seat near the luggage racks so you can keep watch as best as you can, and never leave anything in your case that can't be easily replaced.

Posted by
8299 posts

SJ, could it have been because people sometimes, accidentally, take the wrong suitcase? Majority of suitcases are black and all look similar.

Posted by
4268 posts

Emma, I completely agree that the concern re. crime is blown out of proportion. What I've told people that have asked me about "all the crime in Europe", is maybe you are more likely to be pickpocketed, which I'm not even sure is the case, but you are far less likely to be physically attacked than in the U.S. I've got "kids" that live in Chicago and St. Louis. They are athletic, tall, men. They pay attention to what neighborhoods they are in, and their surroundings. They don't go certain places alone or at night. They feel more personally safe in Europe. Even then, they like where they live at least for now and have fun and make the best of it.

I belong to the RS facebook group. What I really need to do is just look at all the pretty pictures and not answer advice/comment. THERE are the people that are super concerned about crime. There was one discussion about money belts and hotel safes or lack there of. Made me crazy. Honestly, I thought if these folks are so completely terrified, how do they have fun? And what do they do in the U.S.?

I also completely agree that the opportunity to get a variety opinions is helpful, especially when it is understood that there are many styles, budgets and preferences. I just feel sad for some OPs and commenters when they might be made to feel inexperienced or foolish.

I guess my thought is, a new or less experienced traveler is just going to have more worries. On my last trip to Spain, I worried because I was going to be the one driving, and thru mountains on narrow roads. I so appreciated the folks that gave advice and told me we'd be fine, and we were. When I look back, it was a whole lot of mental energy for a small issue. Everything is easier after you've done it once.

Posted by
8412 posts

I don’t think anything was exaggerated. These people had a learning experience. Moral of the story: keep your eye on your possessions. Don’t leave them in the area between the cars. End of story. My French husband is more cautious than his Yankee wife, checking our luggage at each stop. Maybe he knows something about taking trains in France that that I don’t.

Indeed people post about theft or what they consider to be scams to warn others. It’s their experience and they are rendering a service. People who respond are rendering a service, too, by letting others know how to be aware.

Anyone who thinks these pages are rife with foreboding stories can just skip anything they find offensive. No one is forced to read everything.

Posted by
12898 posts

"...far less likely to be physically attacked than in the US." How very true. You develop a feel for your city, even in SF certain districts obviously I would not drive through. If ones disputes the validity of this, that shows how much s/he knows SF or rather as I put it, how little the person knows of SF.

Traveling alone the first time over, I had obviously concerns about personal safety. Once I landed in London, I found out any concerns, not fears, I had of personal safety were groundless; likewise when I arrived in Germany a few weeks later...never felt intimidated because of personal safety since I knew in London and in Germany on that trip I was not going to get jumped in streets "a la American" That was a major relief.

"They" can pickpocket me or scam me into turning over my assets quite voluntarily (happened only once) but at least I know I won't get jacked in the streets, which would happen here.

Posted by
1780 posts

Emma, it does help some of us to hear a balanced perspective. To this day I regret that I spent most of our only trip to Prague worrying about pickpockets rather than appreciating a beautiful city before it got so crowded. We recently rode the train from Naples to Rome with luggage out of sight range. I’ve learned to relax. Usually the luggage is packed in so tightly I can’t imagine anyone trying to snatch something.

Posted by
4268 posts

Emma, what exactly would you find helpful? Seems like when someone notes an unfortunate experience, the response by some varies between pointing out that the OP was foolish and didn’t follow obvious precautions or that it’s just another hysterical post exaggerating a small problem. In this particular case, seemed like many of the responses were, well of course, the bag was unlocked and out of sight or this is is rare and people shouldn’t worry about it. Sorry, petty crime IS an issue in Europe. Travelers are actually followed and observed. Thieves think of new ways to steal stuff frequently. My daughter had her phone lifted in Barcelona. The police station was filled with pick pocket victims. I think what IS helpful is to acknowledge it happens, the victim wasn’t stupid, might have been targeted, and provide tips so travelers can avoid pitfalls in the future. There is also putting things in perspective. It’s money, credit cards, passports, not your body or your life and it can happen anywhere not just in Europe. And honestly, it is inconvenient when a passport is lost/stolen, but it is fairly easily remedied. Making a victim feel stupid is not helpful. In the end, like most things, you access what makes you happy and the risk involved and proceed accordingly. If a person is too nervous about travel or a particular location, they can stay home, where they actually might have similar risks and certainly very different ones. And I agree, whether it’s facebook, someone on the street or the forum, if you find something annoying one can just scroll on.

Posted by
16863 posts

Obviously no apologies when they realised they were wrong.

I am sorry if you thought my post was aimed at this particular post and you specifically, it really wasn't. I appreciate my wording was a bit strong, and I am sorry for that if it caused offence.

Emma, had to chuckle over these snippets from your posts. Americans never apologize, even when it is warranted, and British people are always apologizing, even when it is not warranted. Sorry for the stereotyping.

People, in general, are very poor at assessing risk. We worry about the risks in situations where we are unfamiliar, but oblivious to the much higher risks in situations where we are familiar. I’d venture a guess that 90% of Americans have NEVER ridden on a passenger train. So taking an unfamiliar form of transportation in a foreign country puts people on edge. Meanwhile, they will drive their cars at home with no qualms about the relatively high risk of death or dismemberment from auto accidents. Or the chance that their car will be broken into and their possessions stolen while parked on the street. Or that the car itself gets stolen.

Posted by
8412 posts

Right now I can put myself into the shoes of a newbie traveler to Europe, but instead of petty thieves, I’m scared of running into a bear when hiking on a well-worn trail in Alaska. I’ll only go with a guide armed with bear spray. I’ve certainly blown it out of proportion, but I’ve read of instances of bears on the trail and nothing is going to convince me to go walking alone, even if the possibility is 1%.

I can see how reading even one tale of caution could rile up an inexperienced traveler setting off into the unknown wilds of Paris and Barcelona.

Posted by
4268 posts

Bets, my daughter is student teaching in the middle of Alaska. She was told to not go out alone at night due to bears. I'll be getting her bear spray. I SCUBA dive and we've hiked a lot of national parks. I'm still a little nervous about cougars,bears and sharks, but you do what you love, right? Re. bear spray, many of the parks do recommend it now, especially Glacier/Waterton/Banff/Jasper. They always say with the bear spray to determine what way the wind is blowing. Yikes, that's a lot to determine in a split second. So, you offer a decent example. It scares me, especially when I traveled with four little kids, when the rangers offer the warnings. "Look big for a cougar, fight a grizzly or cougar, stay with a group, make noise, etc. But, isn't that info good to have?

Posted by
2561 posts

Yes what happened to Great Uncle Bernard's cousin Bob in 1947 was a horror. To think, if they only have had money belts back then none of this would not have happened. He barely made it back go the safety of the US, broke as he was. Then when they nabbed the local magistrate as the culprit, well, that was beyond belief! A true travel nightmare Emma!

Posted by
12898 posts

Pertaining to the newbie, so-called green traveler to Europe: Last year when my grandson turned 18, graduated from high school, . a good friend of mine, same age as I am, retired, asked if I would "let" my grandson go to Europe solo as I had done in 1971, staying in hostels, using public transport, etc Basically, I replied , why not? In some ways my grandson is a lot more adept, smarter than I was when I went solo. But then I was 21. There is a marked difference.

Bottom line : My friend's overriding concern was safety, ie, fearful (yes, the fear factor) certainly not leaving that out as if it dictates one's decision to go solo, especially as a youth, given the news on pickpockets, terrorism, and so on, you name it. (Can more be added? ) I told him I still do the solo trips, so why not the grandson as a youth?

Posted by
6632 posts

Petty crime is different in Europe than the US and a lot less dangerous. But Americans are poorly prepared because organized crime families running pickpocket operations where they get your card and have 20 K on it in two hours is not an American thing. Pickpocketing is highly skilled; it is not common in the US. On the other hand armed robbery is virtually unheard of and in many if not most European cities a woman can walk at night without fearing assault. And yeah -- you don't get pickpocketed (whether 'targeted' or not) if you don't have valuables where they are easy to steal. Pickpockets are not wrestling women to the ground and stealing their cross body purse, they are dipping into careless held bags, backpacks or any outside pockets.

Posted by
4268 posts

Great points, Fred. When my second oldest wanted to go to Budapest his sophomore year of college to study math for a month, my reaction (that went unspoken) is no way, no how, forget it. It is an eastern European country for heaven sake! We kept hearing more about his plans. I did some research, and by golly, when he went, I went over with his older brother and visited him and then traveled on, pretty much "college style" with the two of them! I've done many trips since then.

You are only as old as you let yourself be! I've gotten to know my newly graduated college daughter's friends. I enjoy them! More than some of the folks my age. They call me for travel advice or stop by or invite me to join them for activities. I thought they were just humoring me, nope, we all like each other.

Jane, that's a pretty great explanation.

Posted by
6649 posts

Fred, what your grandson would have that you might not have had, is the benefit of guidance from an experienced grandfather.

When I think back on my first trip abroad on my own, I marvel at how ignorant I was of basic health and safety issues, as well as how to handle things.

Posted by
6488 posts

When I think back on my first trip abroad on my own, I marvel at how ignorant I was of basic health and safety issues, as well as how to handle things.

And yet you survived. That in itself says a lot about the ability of most people to cope with whatever happens on their trips to Europe even without having the advice of more experienced travelers before their trip. Their experiences may not always be pretty but they are almost all survivable. It's still important to give advice to new travelers before their trips if possible. But if problems occur on their trip and they come here to vent or to warn others, then it's important that they get the opportunity to do that without censure, even if what happened to them was probably easily avoidable with some advance research and some simple common sense.

Posted by
21087 posts

Actually, snatching of shoulder or crossbody bags by motorized thieves, sometimes resulting in serious injury when the victim hits the sidewalk, is something guide books were warning about at least as far back as the 1980s, maybe the 1970s. I first heard about it as a Naples problem, but it has occasionally cropped up elsewhere. Is it still happening in London?

Posted by
4695 posts

One of main reasons why our family remains in Europe is that it is so safe, especially for our children. My oldest has traveled across town by himself on a commuter train and subway since he was 10. All Viennese kids do this. My kids do not have active shooter drills at their schools. My kids can safely play at our neighborhood park unsupervised. I hope I never have to move back to the scary USA.

Posted by
8293 posts

acraven brings up the supposed theft of shoulder strap purses by wicked thieves on motor bikes. If anyone on this forum has experience of that, or knows of someone to whom it has happened, please let us know. Years ago there was a story in Montreal about a grisly crime in which a thief cut off a man’s hand at a pay-to-enter garage just to get the Rolex watch off his wrist. Fairy tales to frighten the gullible.

Posted by
21087 posts

These were not fairy tales. They were first-person accounts by folks who themselves (or their traveling companions) got broken collarbones, concussions, or worse when a motorized thief swooped by and grabbed the bag, sometimes dragging the victim down the sidewalk--an unfortunate consequence of wearing a purse across the body.

Within the last week or two someone mentioned on this forum (perhaps even earlier in this thread) that something like that had happened to a relative, though I don't remember the details.

Did you miss the news out of London within the last few years--accompanied by video from surveillance cameras--that criminals were stealing motorbikes, riding up on sidewalks, and snatching cellphones, with some injuries resulting?

I am not saying such events are or were common, but it is not true that all theft in Europe is pickpockrting-by-stealth that results in no bodily harm. I only posted to correct that implication.

Posted by
8412 posts

Norma, dear, it happened to a friend of mine on her own street, rue St. Laurent, a small street two blocks from Gare de l’Est. It was the late 1970s, her shoulder bag was on her outside shoulder, slipping right off when grabbed by the two on the motor bike, and I saw her a couple days later. All of us in our group of friends learned to carry our stuff on the inside shoulder from her robbery, and soon after cross body bags became fashion.

Posted by
776 posts

This type of thievery from motorbikes, usually Vespas, is common enough in Italy to have a word for these thieves, "scippatori" from the verb for the action, scippare.

Posted by
12898 posts

"You are only as old as you let yourself be." Ain't that the truth...exactly! The point is well taken.

@ Stan...You're too kind. My grand son at 18 is much sharper physically and mentally than when I was at his age. I know that at 19 even I was not ready to go Europe, embark on a trip going solo. At 21 in 1971 I felt I was ready, and went the 12 weeks alone and so on.

Still, obviously, I had a lot to learn re: what I call the "tricks of the trade" as they pertained to traveling even doing the whole hostel scene, which was pretty easy.

Posted by
7618 posts

though why anyone would look at the way I dress (and the $15 jewelry I wear) and think there's something valuable in my bag, I do not know.

What acraven said. Also a reason I don’t mind having an old, not top-of-the line bag that doesn't attract anyone's attention.

Posted by
8293 posts

OK. I am wrong about the purse strap cutters and bow to your superior knowledge. A pox on them, I say.

PS. Sorry to have been a doubter. I tried to think if I ever walk so close to the kerb that a passing scooter guy could get my purse. Obviously, some women do.

Posted by
7618 posts

I have a friend at work who had her purse ripped off her shoulder and indeed broke her collarbone in Barcelona maybe 3 or 4 years ago. So — 1 degree of separation from that incident, which she told me herself.

And another friend at work whose suitcase was stolen off of a train between Frankfurt and Paris about the same # of years ago.

Both French citizens. I will ask them to remind me which year each incident happened to each.

Posted by
2334 posts

My wife and I took our first long train trip a week ago from Nice to Paris. Maybe because we're inexperienced train riders s but I'm confused with some of the posts that say to always keep your bags in the overhead trays. We were on the upper level of a 1st class car and there was no way a carry-on was going to fit. My gym bag didn't even fit. We were the first people in the car and so we were able to place our luggage (2 carry-on and 1 gym bag) in the luggage racks. Last year, we had friends who had their luggage stolen off a train in Paris at a stop. They even saw the thief do it, but it happened so fast that there was nothing they could do. Because of this we were alert, but it is difficult to watch all the time. We learned by people watching some of the other travelers on the train who were clearly French. Every stop it seems people would lean out of their seats to watch the luggage racks or choose that time to take a walk to the racks, so we just followed suit. People were also on alert when someone not from our car would stop and stand near the racks, even if the train was moving. Sad that it has to be that way, but it is what it is.

Posted by
8987 posts

Every stop it seems people would lean out of their seats to watch the
luggage racks or choose that time to take a walk to the racks, so we
just followed suit

I use a lock like this to secure my bag to the rack. This way I don't have to keep looking at every stop, and can take a nap:
https://tinyurl.com/y4jwjkwb

Posted by
4268 posts

Allan, thanks for your info. I'm sure these incidents are very isolated, but it surprises me, and probably because I'm naive, that this would occur on TGVs. We took one from Geneva to Paris and didn't think twice about our luggage. What I don't get, is the thief would have to buy a ticket, correct? Maybe it's because we were crossing a border, but we had to go through security in Geneva and show our ticket. A TGV ticket would be a bigger investment for a thief, yes?

And Michael, I would imagine a lock like that would be handy in a few situations. Thanks.

Posted by
11857 posts

For me the biggest thing is don't bring a lot of valuables and keep those under your personal control at all times. My valuables are anything that would be a major bother to lose while traveling: passport, debit/credit cards, driver's license and smartphone.

Most stay in a neck wallet under my shirt, the smart phone is either in my hand or in a zippered pocket with the zipper shut, preferably on the inside of my jacket. The pocket is the least secure thing so in crowds or tourist areas, it's in my hand.

That leaves usually one card (usually credit card) in one front pocket and some cash in the other. I don't carry a lot of cash and consider it the easiest to sacrifice to a thief (though it hasn't happened yet).

My only jewelry is a watch and I try to wear something low key (nothing obviously expensive) when traveling.