Pickpockets Foiled: Prevention or Luck?

A few years back, when my son was a year-and-a-half, we traveled to the United Kingdom on a week-long vacation. The day we went to London for a sightseeing whirlwind was the day we almost lost the diaper bag to a pickpocket. We were heading down the steps of an Underground stop when my husband noticed it floating away from underneath the stroller where it was tucked in the compartment under the seat.

It was a perfect scene for a theft. We were jostling down the steps carrying the stroller between us with our son still strapped in while keeping track of our 10 year-old-daughter in the crowd. The diaper bag was the least of our worries. My husband’s quick reflexes and his loud voice rescued the bag and prevented the thief’s disappointment in finding out that he only landed Pampers.

This was not the first time I experienced an aborted robbery. Twice in Banjul, the capital city of The Gambia, I was rescued from the experience of losing my wallet. The first time, my friend noticed the jostling and shouted, “Check your wallet.” That was enough for the thief to drop it at my feet. I never saw him because we were in a crowd. The second time, I felt a tug on my bag and caught the guy with my wallet in his hand. “Give it back!” I roared and my wallet ended up back in my possession.

Getting pick-pocketed happens most often in crowds in metropolitan areas. Here are some tips about how to protect yourself from theft. Even though the city mentioned is Chicago, the tips are universal. Being aware is number one. There are also suggestions on how to organize what you own so everything valuable can’t get stolen. Keep your belongings in various locations and out of reach. Since the diaper bag only held diapers, it wouldn’t have been the worst thing if it had gone missing. With a peeing toddler though, it wouldn’t have been fun. Here’s another article on how to protect your money. The photo, by serretuaccidente on Flickr is of a sign in London. Go figure.