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Pickpocket prime time


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I put this in the Kunming thread because that's where I live, but it applies to other places as well.

Now is prime time for pickpockets, with Spring Festival right around the corner. Thieves like to return to their home village flush with cash for presents and hongbao. Those of you new to China need to mind your stuff when moving about in crowds. Even most of my savvy Chinese friends have had something stolen at some time or other; it doesn't just happen to newcomers.

Tight crowding makes it easier for thieves to operate. Getting on and off the bus is a great place to lose your mobile phone or camera, as are the entrances to large stores. If you wear a shoulder bag, swing it around in front instead of letting it hang in back. A frequently used technique is to slash it with a razor blade and take the contents without ever opening the flap or the zipper. Distraction techniques from beggars and ten-year old flower sellers are also common. These people work in teams.

Don't carry more cash and documents than you really need. Most ordinary people here are honest, but petty theft is a time honored profession that has been honed to a high level and they will get you if you don't watch out, and sometimes even if you do.

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So probably it's better to avoid doing what I did today, carrying around an envelope with 5000RMB (tuition) and then deciding that it's too cold outside, and then putting my hands in my pocket and tucking the envelope under my arm?


Thanks for the tip.

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The theives hate me, I tell them off too often.

They threaten you to shut up, but rarely do much more.

Just be cautious and you should be fine.

Someone bumps into you, sign for hands to pockets and bag.

Knife to bag doesn't work too well on my bag, about a inch of padding between the outside and what's inside.

To keep my laptop safe in most cases, but it serves this purpose too.

4 years and not one thing lost yet.

If you're standing and have a backpack, try swaying it just a little, it will stop sway if interrupted.

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