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Do thieves know about your money belt?

I've used a money belt for years and have recently switched to a neck wallet. The question is, have any of you or heard from others that have encountered a thief that asked for your money belt? I'm assuming that they've got to know about these things too.

Posted by
9363 posts

Never heard of that happening. Stealthy pickpockets are more common, not armed robbery.

Posted by
20634 posts

Only in New York or Chicago. I am sure that some are aware of money belts but think they are more interested in something they can get that is quick. Thieves generally don't ask.

There was a posting here a couple of years from someone who was in Barcelona outside a bar where he was grabbed by two guys who pinned his arm and third one quickly jammed his hand down the front of this pants. The assumption was that they were looking for a money belt being worn just behind the belt buckle as is frequently done. In this case the poster was wearing the money belt under his shirt and in back so they got nothing and ran off. That is a mugging and not a pickpocket. That is a good reason not wear a money belt in that manner.

Posted by
16771 posts

Your assumption is logical, but no, I've never heard this type of theft reported to our office. Pickpockets already make a good living by being quick and choosing the easiest targets. It's well known that nervous people can reveal their hiding spots by patting them frequently, so try not to. I keep my money belt under a fairly secure layer of clothes and not to access it publicly, in order to worry less and to maintain whatever "secrets" I can.

Posted by
967 posts

I've always worn my money belt against the small of my back. What woman wants her tummy to look larger!?
I do always wear a second layer, perhaps at least a big shirt, to keep it more hidden. I've been tempted by a neck pouch but I think that the string would give its location away. Lately I've been thinking of a pouch that would hang against my leg under a skirt or pants, but I haven't tried it yet.
And yes, thieves are generally pick-pockets and not muggers who could be caught or recognized later.

Posted by
30971 posts

KC,

I've never heard of that happening in Europe, but it did happen to the daughter of one of my colleagues who was travelling in South America (can't remember which country but it might have been Peru?). Her and a friend were surrounded by a group of thieves in a city park and the assumption was that some of them may have been armed (at least with knives). They were asked specifically for their Money Belts, and they lost everything including Passports. Of course these were muggers and not pickpockets.

Posted by
1406 posts

The one useful warning I heard once was, if you get on a bus or train or tram and see or hear a warning about mind your wallet, it's a normal reaction to PAT your wallet. Guess what you've just signaled?

Posted by
2393 posts

Unfortunately, I had a mouthful of wine when I began reading this thread. Does anyone know how to clean wine off of a keyboard?

To answer the question. I am sure all thieves know about tourist's money belts. However, they want the quick grab, and to run away. A purse is much easier to snatch off of your arm, for example. Easier yet would be if you were foolish enough to hang your purse across the back of your chair in a pub or restaurant, and turn your back on it. Gone in 60 seconds! Same for an unattended backpack.

I don't think you have to worry about them "asking" for your money belt.

I use a money belt, waist belt under my slacks. Never any problems. No one sticking their hands in my pockets.

Posted by
1818 posts

Maybe we can wrap this up with a quote from Rodney Dangerfield: "If it weren't for pickpockets, I'd have no sex at all".

Posted by
11573 posts

Got another keyboard here that needs a cleanup. :O)

Posted by
4500 posts

They know about mine. I wear a belt loop wallet that hangs in front. No one has ever asked me for it or tried to get in it.

Muggings are exceedingly rare in Europe.

Posted by
5504 posts

Muggings are exceedingly rare in Europe.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2832816/Violent-tourist-muggings-Paris-fall-8-French-capital-drafts-police-countries.html

Violent tourist muggings in Paris fall by 8%... but only after French
capital drafts in police from other countries.

It appears the plan is paying off as police announced this week that
violent thefts against tourists from China, who are frequent targets
for the City of Love’s criminals, have dropped by 25 per cent in 2014
compared to the same nine-month period in 2013. There has been a 13
per cent drop in violent thefts targeting tourists at the Louvre,
while the area around the Champs-Elysees has seen a 24 per cent drop
in thefts and 22 per cent drop in minor injuries attributed to
violence.

Posted by
2 posts

A friend of mine, a world traveler, recently relayed to me how she was disappointed when someone in her party had his wallet picked from his jacket which was hanging on the back of his chair! With soft, easy targets like that, they're not going after your money belt, too much work.

Posted by
12103 posts

I look like a tourist over there, have been told as as much by locals, and assume that any potential thief is going to think i have a neck pouch/hidden pocket anyway. But their getting to it is a different matter.

Posted by
20634 posts

That articles is absolutely meaning less in proving that mugging are rare or not. Classic example of a bunch of statistics that have no meaning. No one suggested that muggings do not occur but rather that the mugging rate is much lower than in the US. All the articled proved is that there were at least four muggings, they reduced it to three and achieved a 25% reduction.

Posted by
516 posts

My guess is that if you stick to the tourist agenda of visiting the major sites and souvenir shopping, especially if you are part of an follow a large standard tour group, the likely hood of being mugged is probably quite low. Pickpocketing yes, but mugging, probably not. Heading out on your own and wandering into less traveled parts of town (without doing any research) perhaps late at night, then you're probably asking for a bit of adventure.

Posted by
170 posts

I have always used a money belt. Make sure that it is under the waistband of your clothing. I ran across this video recently and enjoyed learning about pickpockets. Bob Arno is a pickpocket that performs in Las Vegas, he traveled to Naples, Italy to meet a famous pickpocket. Fascinating to watch! Google You Tube video of Bob Arno in Naples, Italy. You will learn how to spot a pickpocket.

Posted by
40 posts

I always wear my money belt and have been on many RS tours and have never had any problems. There are so many easy targets wandering around the pickpockets aren't interested in money belts.

Posted by
30 posts

Yes, they know about your money belt but there are just easier targets. Europe has a painfully high tolerance for petty crimes but come down hard on violence. Unfortunately that means a lot of tourists getting ripped off regularly without the authorities doing much about it. However you can travel Europe extensively without fear of getting assaulted or murdered. Thieves prey on the easiest targets they can find and the key (in my opinion) is to not be one. Sadly, its the elderly, overly polite Japanese tourists, people with too many bags or people standing in the middle of train station looking lost and confused that get ripped off mostly. I just did a month in Europe including Barcelona (robbery capital) and had five encounters. I ran into the petition scam, the three man team and the metro doors scam. In all incidents I spotted them early, stared them down hard and walked out of my way to avoid them. In all incidents, they looked at me and decided to move on to an easier target. I also encountered people standing next to ticket machines and I would just point at them and yell "No, No!" until they go away. Luckily I wasn't robbed.

Posted by
12103 posts

These petty thieves to use a polite term know that certain ethnic groups prefer carrying cash and jewelry, not just in small amounts but large wads of bills. These tourists hit the obvious sites. Whether it's the neck pouch, hidden pocket with the belt loop, or money belt, it comes down to the same purpose, ie, to avoid assess to your valuables by the petty thieves. I use the hidden pocket and neck pouch.

Posted by
17659 posts

I've used a neck wallet for 21 weeks of travel in Germany without a problem. In fact, I'm a little lax in that sometimes, on a train or bus, I will let it hang outside my shirt to let it dry. But then, Germanic countries are not as prone to pickpocketing as are Mediterranean countries.