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In which Travel Buddy saves the day

Posted by on 09/05/2013

On the metro today, Travel Buddy thwarted a gang of pickpockets. Four teenage girls, moving in a pack, started to crowd the area of the train right by the doors. I was suspicious when I saw them coming towards us, and more suspicious when they started their press. The oldest (and presumably the lead) tried to squeeze between me and the center bar, which was a dead giveaway — no teenage girl in her right mind would press up against a male adult like this unless she was up to no good.
The lead girl shoved herself past me, and I moved to keep me hand over my wallet pocket. Didn’t matter though, as she wasn’t after me. She was after the oblivious Asian tourist next to me, the one wearing a safari vest and slacks. Safety tip guys: don’t dress like this in Paris. Or any city. Ever. Even if it doesn’t make you a target for thieves (and it will) it makes you look like a jackass nevertheless.
As the car was about to stop, the lead thief slipped her backpack around to her front for cover, then shot her hand out and into the man’s pocket. Travel Buddy was on it. “Hey!” she said loudly. The girl reflexively drew her hand back, and Travel Buddy tapped the mark on his shoulder, trying to warn him. He didn’t speak any French or English and was really clueless, but the thieves were foiled. “Watch out,” she said to the man, pointing to the girls.
The car stopped and the doors opened. The younger girls were making a hasty retreat out the door. The older girl hissed “beech” at Travel Buddy and I stepped toward her. Before I had to get too macho she thought better of it and got in the wind.
We saw them later, on another metro car, getting yelled at by locals. Bad day for the budding thieves.
Anyway: wear your money belt, keep your wallet in your front pocket (preferably with your arm resting over the opening) and watch for a sudden press of people right by the doors. And for god’s sake don’t wear safari vests and bum bags.

2 Responses to In which Travel Buddy saves the day

  1. Don't make me think of something clever

    Whoo hoo Travel Buddy! And yay, Horace, for stepping up to protect her from those tricksy teenagers. Beeches never even saw you two coming! 🙂 -kb

  2. Sarah

    Did I ever mention that Chari is my hero? Seriously. You kick ass girl!