It is Christmas market season and various local polices started a heads-up again that I just want to share it with fellow travelers (example presss release from police Lüneburg, automated translation).
"The police is now again warning against pickpockets and giving useful tips on how to behave:
When visiting the Christmas market, take only as much cash with you as you actually need.
Take money, papers, and other valuables with you in chest pouches or belt pouches. Otherwise, use inside pockets that are as closed as possible.
If you stand at tables do not place / lay your purse or a mobile phone open onto a table [own entry]
Always close your handbag and clamp it with from the lock side to the body under the arm.
Do not allow any glimpses into your wallet or purse. Take only as much cash with you as you need, and keep your credit / debit card separate from it.
Be particularly careful if you are in crowds of people or in the middle of a crowd. With a quick and easy unnoticed grip, the perpetrators can get to your money or your valuables arrive.
Thieves often appear in a team - one of the perpetrators distracts the victim or hides the crime, another procures the loot, another takes it and disappears with it. Popular tricks are also the deliberate jostling or the inducement of an artificial crowd. Intentional dirtying of clothes and the supposed help with cleaning as well as a fictitious inquiry of information are also common diversions of the criminals - so always be vigilant and suspicious in such situations.
If you've lost your payment cards, you can have them block them immediately for further use, best of all by telephone via the nationwide blocking emergency number 116 116.
That's what the perpetrators usually do
For example, the trick is popular, especially in well-attended shops or narrow alleys. A thief moves unpleasantly close to the victim until he angrily turns away and thus offers a bag or the purse in the coat pocket "ready to hand". Within just a few seconds, your wallet, credit cards or mobile phone have disappeared. A further successful trick of the thieves again and again is to "accidentally" stain the clothes of the potential victim with ketchup, mustard or a liquid in order to distract from the theft of the valuables by the subsequent cleaning attempt.
But also the "favourable opportunity" in the shopping market is used again and again by perpetrators. Focused on their own shopping or the shelves, older people often leave their handbags and valuables hanging unobserved on the shopping trolley. A nasty surprise lurks at the checkout when suddenly the purse with which you should actually pay is missing.
If you have been robbed, report the incident directly to the police!"
A safe journey for all of you and enjoy the German Christmas markets.