Stolen Luggage

My luggage was stolen off of the Trenitalia Innercity train. It was a black and grey carryon bag. It contained jewelry, clothes and a lot of personal belongings. The train left Napoli Central bound for Rome Termini at 20:17 (Tuesday 23 2013) it was delayed for 10 minutes. I got on the train put my bag in the luggage holding area and then when I arrived to my destination Rome termini, my luggage was gone. I filed a police report, but the Italian police didn't seem to care much and was more interested in flirting with me than doing anything. What else can I possibly do to at this point??

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3404 posts

There is nothing you can do really,is there. Hope you have insurance.

Posted by Neil
Whittington
581 posts

You have a police report and hopefully you listed all your losses - you claim on your travel insurance with this presentation. There is nothing more you can do. Such 'petty' theft is the norm for police forces almost all over the world and nothing further will happen investigation wise.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

femie, Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Unfortunately it's not likely that the bag or belongings will ever be recovered. It's not surprising that it happened on the trains between Napoli and Roma (although theft can happen anywhere). The Italian Police may have seemed a bit "disinterested" as they likely deal with this sort of problem on a regular basis. I always try to watch my luggage, especially just before departure or when in stations as that's the most likely time that bags will "disappear". For future reference, it's a good idea to keep valuables such as jewellery with you in a carry-on rather than stored in larger luggage items that may be "out of sight" at times. Cheers!

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3064 posts

And also if all you have is carry-on size bag then put it in the overhead bin above your seat instead of at the end of the carriage where it's unseen. I never leave my bags unattended at the luggage compartment before departure. I either sit where I can easily see them or I stand with them until the door closes and the train pulls out. And never ever ever put jewelry into your luggage like that and leave it unattended.

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
910 posts

If you have household insurance, your possessions may be covered on that policy even when outside the house.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7967 posts

You can also take it off your taxes as an unreimbursed casualty loss if you itemize.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

A loss of that nature can only be deducted if it exceeds 10% of your adjusted gross income. The amount you can deduct is the amount that exceeds 10% of your adjusted gross income.
(It's a bit more complicated than that for the necessary Form 4684 that must be completed, but that is essentially what your deduction is)

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2460 posts

Police in Europe may seem disinterested, but honestly, even if the criminal is apprehended, are you (as in anyone) going to fly back tone a witness at trial? Or even be in town long enough to participate in the legal process? I think that is one reason we think the police don't take crimes against tourists seriously.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Check the small print on your credit cards and see if you have some insurance that would potentially cover this

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Anyone reading this about to start off on their first trip,, note .. do NOT leave a bag containing anything of value(jewelry /electronics) in a bag anywhere that is not under your direct control and supervision. PERIOD. Ever. And lets get realistic, what exactly should police do in cases like this. I really don't know what people expect. You left your bag unattended in a public place. Hundreds of people had access to it. One of them picked it up and joined a crowd of hundreds and walked away. Life lesson. If someone steals my suitcase all they get is my clothes.. and those are very replaceable.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7675 posts

In addition to what Larry said, there is also a $100 floor on theft losses before the 10% is calculated. And everything would have to be valued according to its "used" value, not replacement value. Casualties and thefts really only helps you in a really big loss, like a fire or tornado when you are uninsured.

Posted by JB
Redding, CA, USA
1568 posts

We always use the cable locks for our luggage when in Europe. Even use them here on AMTRAK. Never travel without them.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

@Pat - I really don't know what people expect. Empathy perhaps? Not rubbing salt in one's wound - is that too much to ask? Not everyone can expect to sit right next to or on top of their luggage like a hen.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Femie, was this your only bag? Was is light enough to be carried off quickly? I'm going to take a guess and say it may be likely that the 10 minute delay gave someone enough room to snag your bag while the train was not in motion. If it was a large and heavy bag, and the train was moving the whole time from Point A to Point B, I don't think it would have disappeared so fast even in a luggage holding area. Speaking of which, was this holding area at the end of the rail car somewhat far from where you were sitting? Can you think of any other details that are relevant? I hope you can answer because your answers will help future travelers. The details really do matter. As I said previously, see what your credit cards can cover, if anything.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Agnes she already clearly said it was a "carry on" so it could have only been so big and heavy. My post makes it clear that this is the type of post a new traveler can learn from. Too late for OP this time, but hopefully she too has learned from this whole experience.

Posted by Angela
Chicago/Rural WI
809 posts

Agnes, you have painted a very funny image in my head of everyone piling their luggage on their train seat and perching atop it, preening themselves.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

@Angela - LOL :-) In all seriousness, I don't remember my own luggage situation traveling from Rome to Naples (it was in 2002). Let's say there is no room overhead or right next to you, what else can you do but put the luggage at the end of the train car? I always sleep on trains so unless I was literally sitting on my luggage, I probably wouldn't be monitoring it the whole time. I guess one of my life maxims is to trust people and hope for the best - and deal with the worst, if need be, without drama. Having said that, I don't bring real valuables with me or anything that would cause major anguish.

Posted by Judy
Adelaide, SA, Australia
802 posts

We always secure our stored luggage with cable locks on trains. Takes 10 secs. Nothing to do with being paranoid, just taking a small precaution to try to ensure we don't have to deal with such an issue when travelling.

Posted by Mme Eli
XXX
1170 posts

Judy, that's a good idea. I hadn't thought of cable locks. I was beside myself this trip when we were leaving Paris and heading to Amsterdam. We stopped a lot and I kept nagging hubby to go and stand by the bag area and watch what was being taken off. A cable lock would have helped. Are these large/heavy? And where does one attach it?

Posted by femie
miami
5 posts

Thank you Judy, cable locks are a very great idea! Now that is helpful advice! Thank you also Agnes. It is a learning experience, to always trust my insticts and stick with my initial feeling. I did not want to take the train in the 1st place I wanted to fly, but my friend insisted it would be cheaper with the train. Her luggage however was way to heavy or else they probably would have made off with her also. The police did indicate to us also that sometimes the thieves take out what they want and they leave the rest of your stuff in an unattended area to be picked up by them, so sometimes they do find some luggage back, and I am always ever the optimistic person. I also got very good advice from another travel website that I thought I might share to look up companies that would pay out rewards to return your stolen bags if taken or found, like an insurance policy. More helpful advice, that I can use for my next vacation!

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Can someone confirm where to lock the cable lock onto? When locking up luggage, I'm assuming the cable lock would lock the contents and would also lock it to some stationary and impossible to remove object like a railing or something like that (like a bike), right? I don't think the long term solution is to avoid trains and just take flights - people need good solutions for keeping their stuff safe on trains. Trains shouldn't be shunned because they are a practical, cost effective way to get around.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10854 posts

Sometimes there is nothing solid to attach to but most of the time we just hook our two bags together and push the cable out of sight. The thought is that if someone did to grab one bag, the other bag would act as an anchor or is entangled in the other luggage. Either way it would be enough of a surprise that they would drop the bag. But for us I can easily grab both bags without unhooking them from each other. I have seen people holding up the luggage area by fumbling with their locks. To the best of our knowledge my system has never been tested.

Posted by femie
miami
5 posts

I only wanted to fly in this instance, because it was the late evening time that we were returning back to Rome and we had heard from other guest at the hotel we were staying at, how unsafe it can be in the Napoli Center area. We took the Euro-Star there and had no problems. It was direct from stop to stop and I was able to watch my bags till the train closed its doors and take off. The train my luggage was stolen on was the Trenitalia Innercity train with stops, that any one can grab your bag from the luggage holding area and jump off the train just before it takes off. I would in future pay a little more and go direct from point a to b if there is no better way to secure your bags. The Euro-Star was quite comfortable and convenient.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

femie, I think you've nailed the problem - it was probably those stops and a 10 minute delay. Those kind of things provide greater opportunities for thieves. I hope this doesn't put you off taking trains or going to Naples because of this unfortunate incident. I took the Eurostar between Rome and Naples and fortunately nothing happened with my luggage (although I can't remember where I stowed it - it was a while back)

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

femie, Travel by air from Naples to Rome is not a reasonable option, for several reasons. > There are far fewer flights than trains, therefore you may not be able to find one that fits your timing (ie: returning to Rome in the evening). > A flight will take far longer than a train on that route, once travel to and from airports, check-in, security and all the other usual hassles are taken into account. > A flight will likely be more expensive, especially if you're hauling larger luggage items which may attract huge luggage fees. The problem of luggage theft isn't limited to southern Italy. I've seen it happen in supposedly "safer" countries such as Germany/Austria/Switzerland as well. Rail travel is usually the best method of travel especially for shorter distances, but as you've found it's important to watch luggage during the trip. That's somewhat easier if there's more than one person, as at least one should be seated facing the luggage rack. As someone else mentioned, clipping two large luggage pieces together is often enough of a deterrent. If the train is lightly loaded, you should be able to keep even large bags on the floor at your seat (I often do). Cheers!

Posted by Judy
Adelaide, SA, Australia
802 posts

We use a device which is used by bike riders to secure their bikes. It is a stretchy, small, lightweight and has a sturdy keylock. It is labelled 'Master Lock' Weave it through the handle of your bags and secure it to any fixture nearby. Too easy!!

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8735 posts

kept nagging hubby to go and stand by the bag area and watch what was being taken off couldn't you do the standing yourself and avoid the nagging?

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3064 posts

This past June I stood by our luggage in the luggage compartment until the doors closed and the train started moving. I try to stay out of the way of fellow travelers, but when it comes to my luggage - I'm not budging until I know it's safe. There were some ladies traveling together who piled their luggage next to mine and cabled all 3 pieces of their luggage together which obviously is a good idea. You don't really need to attach to the pole if you've already got 3 suitcases cabled together. In other words - there were several options other than just leaving it unattended and assuming it would be OK.

Posted by femie
miami
5 posts

Agnes Oh No this does not put me off taking trains but Naples I'm not sure I will visit again. I was just passing through Naples, I stayed in Sorrento, which I loved and will visit again and any other part of Italy! I have no problem flying anywhere, despite the hassle, it is just a preference for me. I've been to Japan 20 hrs of flying..3 connecting flights, layovers the works. I've been stranded and slept in airports already for 48 hrs, but that's just me, I love the adventure. I like the idea of securing the bags together, that advice would have been helpful in my situation because, I could have done so to my friends bag which hers was too heavy, that would have done the trick, I am sure, now I know for next time, that is great advice, thank you to the folks that delivered positive feedback, this is indeed helpful to me and my friends who travel quite frequently.

Posted by Webmaster
Edmonds, WA, USA
240 posts

This is the second time that I've had to come to this thread to delete posts. I'll have to delete the thread if arguments continue. Thank you in advance for keeping things polite.

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
307 posts

Another trick is if there is not a stationary thing to snap the cable lock to is to lock your bag to your travel companions bag. I know it is not 100% security, but I have always figured if someone grabbed my suitcase when I wasn't looking and all the sudden they found out it was locked to my wife's suitcase it would startle them, cause a commotion and they would move on before they figured out what to do next or alert me to the theft attempt so I could stop it. I hope that helps.