Watch that wallet: pickpockets are at work in Vancouver

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      Travelling in Europe recently, I was hyper-vigilant about pickpockets. As usual when on the road, I kept my passport, extra cash, and credit cards in a moneybelt. Guidebooks (and common sense) tell you not to put your wallet in your back pocket, to watch your purse on crowded buses, and to lock your luggage down on overnight trains. One guidebook even warns you not to leave your cellphone on the counter in Italy when you order an espresso lest somebody swipe it.

      Then I returned to Vancouver, and vigilance went out the window. My wallet got tucked back into its usual place in a jacket pocket, my iPhone dropped into an easily accessible flap on the outside of my bag. Recently, I’ve been tucking it in my back pocket”¦

      It took a couple days to adjust back to being this lax. Several times I wondered if I have a false sense of security: there aren’t pickpockets in Vancouver, are there? I recall seeing some warning signs during the Olympics, but I kind of figured that was precautionary, or that it was just a high-risk period. I’ve been living here most of my life, and I’ve never heard of anybody being pickpocketed.

      Until now.

      A good friend posted on Facebook that her offspring was pickpocketed at Granville Skytrain station. So now I’m wondering: was this an isolated incident? I'm not naive enough to believe that pickpocketing never happens in Vancouver, but how common is it? How lax or vigilant are you about preventing it?

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      Martin Dunphy

      Aug 3, 2011 at 10:39pm

      It happened to me on the No. 16 bus through downtown a bit more than a year ago. My fault, really, because it was the classic bump-and-run type grab, but it went on for far too long.
      The only reason I wasn't more aware was because this was the kind of person you didn't even really want to look at and you either hope your or her stop would come quickly.


      Aug 6, 2011 at 1:11pm

      " The only reason I wasn't more aware was because this was the kind of person you didn't even really want to look at ... ".
      It is as if you lost your humanity to your self importance.
      Good luck with that.
      Oh and the 5 paragraph blog the comment was based on was so 'poor little well off me".
      Good luck with that too.

      Taxpayers R Us

      Aug 12, 2011 at 5:07pm

      There are pickpockets at work here indeed...

      We call them "Vision Vancouver" *rimshot*


      Aug 28, 2011 at 5:39am

      It is very wonderfull center

      Victim of Pick pocket dn town

      Jan 15, 2015 at 6:57am

      Yes, be aware of your surroundings! It happen dn town Vancouver at Tim Horton/Wendy's restaurant person siting behind my chair at adjacent table pick pocket my wallet from my jacket.

      Beware in high traffic areas!