Valuables and pickpocketing

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by orange, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. orange

    orange Member

    As I heard so much about pickpocketing in Prague, I don't want to carry valuables on me when I go out...what would be the safest way to keep them?
    Can I leave them at a security locker in the hotel room and just carry the stuff I need for the day?
  2. Ani

    Ani Well-Known Member

    Hi orange,
    I've visited Prague 4 times now and I guess I've been lucky enough not to encounter pickpockets. What I do is sew a pocket inside my jeans (inside the waistband so that I'm the only one that can access it) and keep my money, credit cards, even passport etc in that. You can also buy a kind of travel wallet with a loop that goes over your belt and then it's tucked inside your waist same as my pocket.

    Of course most hotels would have a safe in the room or a place to keep valuables at reception. As I've said I've never had a problem with it. I've heard that the problem can occur on some busy trams where you're surrounded by a gang and they take bags and things, but I think that my pocket overcomes this problem.

    Any other ideas, anyone?

  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member


    A few tips from someone who lived in Prague for 7 months (two summers/tourist seasons):

    1) Pick-pocketing in Prague (and the Czech Republic in general) is almost exclusively localized to the tourist area. So, of course, the pick-pocketers are looking for tourists. Don't look like a tourist, even if you are. That means don't yell across the square in English to a friend. Keep your expensive cameras out of others' sight, and only bring it out when you need it.

    2) When you have to carry cash/valuables, use some kind of hidden pocket, like Ani suggested, or else put the item (e.g. wallet) in your hand and stuff your hand into your front pocket (and keep it there).

    3) Be aware of your surroundings, particularly the people around you. A pickpocketer is going to be less likely to come after your stuff if you appear to be watching out for them--they'll go after easier prey.

    4) Carry any bags you have in front of you or at your side with an arm draped over it.

    5) Avoid large crowds whenever possible. In crowds, you're likely to jostled around by people near you quite regularly, and this is a common tactic among thieves to disguise picketpocketing. When you have to go through or stand in such crowds, secure your items BEFORE you go in. Grab your backpack, wallet, camera, etc. so that no one can get to them without your knowledge.

    Note that the vast majority of incidents like this in Prague are ones of opportunity, without any threat of violence. Don't present thieves with an easy opportunity. Some of my advice may seem like overkill, but my American friends who followed these common sense rules never got pickpocketed, whereas others who didn't follow got things stolen without even noticing until it was too late.

    Have fun (Heaven knows it's hard not to as a tourist in Prague), but be cautious.

  4. orange

    orange Member

    Thanks Ani and Sova for excellent advice :D
    I feel better visiting Prague now that I know all the safty tips.
    Thank you so much again.


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