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Pickpockets/purse snatchers in Vegas

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by FXT, Jun 1, 2013.

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  1. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    Have you or anyone you know been pickpocketed/purse snatched in Vegas? Explain a little bit so we know the when and where.

    Its a pretty simple question and I've always wondered this. I normally walk behind my girlfriend a step or two in large traffic areas and Im constantly checking my back pocket. I've never encountered anything but its one of those natural instincts that kicks in when Im walking the strip or downtown.

    I read something about someone getting their Ipad snatched on the strip but I would think its pretty hard to do that downtown because of the lack of open space to get away.

    This also isnt a downtown vs strip thread. Im genuinely curious.
     
  2. ernestoc33

    ernestoc33 Low-Roller

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    Honestly man I've heard of people being shot over ipads. That is a commodity that brings out the worst in people for some reason.

    I've been to Vegas dozens of times and have never been mugged or pick pocketed. I do something similar to you when I walk in crowded areas of Vegas. As a rule though, I have the wife leave her purse in the room and put her ID in my wallet. I then move my wallet to my front pocket.

    Its pretty safe in Vegas though. Metro has a zero tolerance policy for just about everything. Safety is important for tourism, so they go to great lengths to make it safe for visitors.

    Most hotels provide in room safes, use them when possible. Keep only what you think you will need on you and stash the rest.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I have no personal knowledge of any of these things, but you do hear about on the news. We were on the Strip Monday and I admit I moved my wallet from my back pocket, to my front one.

    Just saw a story the other day about thieves snatching Ipads and Iphones out of peoples hands and just running away.

    I don't know how much of that is TV hype, but common sense says you should be watching your surroundings, not staring at a screen!:poke:
     
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  4. DNA

    DNA Low-Roller

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    I was sitting at the bar at 4 Queens about 7 or 8 years ago playing video poker and having a few beers, when I see this lady to by kinda fast. I say kinda because she has an obvious limp to her. She looked homeless so I thought she was getting booted out for being in there or something. About 30 seconds later, a lady comes out of the restrooms screaming that someone just reached over the door and stole her purse of the hook thingy. I felt so bad for her. All the money she had for her vacation was in her purse and had I known I could have easily close lined that lady to stop her. LoL. They never found her that I know of. So, those hooks may be there for convenience, but ladies definitely should never use them. Don't know how often it happens, but yes, it does happen.
     
  5. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I not only move my wallet to my front pocket, but I also walk through crowds with my hand in the same pocket (I usually wear baggy basketball type shorts). I know that areas like the boat show in front of TI and the Fremont Street Experience during the light show are semi-famous for this type of activity. Lot's of people distracted, looking up are prefect for pick-pockets.

    There's a story in today's Vegas paper about several guys in their late teens and early 20's being sentenced for robbing walking people in southwest-Vegas. They'd pull up, jump out with a hand-gun and shotgun and rob people of whatever they had on them (cash, jewelry, phones, etc.), then back in the vehicle and they're gone.

    I too agree that in the "established" tourist areas, Las Vegas is reasonably safe, especially for those who take proper "big-city" precautions. I have also noted however, that there always and I mean always seems to be somebody watching you, much like a hawk sits a top a telephone pole and surveys the field. Von's on Maryland and Twain is a perfect example of this... if I get out of my vehicle and walk directly in and back out and never look around, all seems normal...BUT... if I take a moment to survey the landscape, there's ALWAYS people just watchin'... lookin' for an easy mark or whatever. They just hang around on the edges surveying their potential prey. I've been in a lot of cities and I've NEVER seen this to the extent I do in Vegas. Not reason to be scared, just be cautious and wise.
     
  6. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    If you are worried about having your pocket picked or your girlfriend having her purse snatched from her then you should move your wallet to your front pocket and she should carry her purse in front of her instead of over her back or on her hip.

    I think you have that backwards. On The Strip there really isn't anywhere to run: a purse snatcher isn't likely to run in to one of the casinos and the casinos make up large continuous stretches, occupying blocks at a time. Downtown, on the other hand, you are never that far from one of the side streets and once you get off Fremont Street there are plenty of dives and back alleys to use.

    The other thing with The Strip is: the only places you could really commit a crime with an escape route is near one of the few intersections... however to actually get a way you often have to run 2-3 blocks before you can get to a side street to turn off where you have a chance to get away - the hotels are so long, just like how they face the front of The Strip, but then behind them they usually go back another block or two because of their parking garages.

    With all this one thing to always remember is: where the money goes, the crime follows.

    Thats not just Las Vegas but in any city and thats why pickpockets anywhere tend to go to where the tourists are and in the case of Las Vegas its a town with a whole lot of tourists and a whole lot of money.
     
  7. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    If you're walking around the strip taking pictures with your iPad and it gets snatched that's not theft, its karma. :poke:
     
  8. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    I think it's like anywhere. You take your usual precautions. I usually wear a cross body or sling purse. In more crowded situations I put it ahead of me and lay a hand on it. If I'm wearing a different purse I kind of cradle it ahead of me in crowds, football hold you could say. My husband moves his wallet to his front pocket.

    We have both switched to RFID blocking wallets to protect against identity theft. Travelon makes some good ones. They make a lot of other travel and luggage things.

    Another precaution is to ensure that any of your chip credit cards or bank debit cards don't have any kind of auto pay or tap to pay or swipe to pay.
     
  9. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    I only had it happen once. I was in a tight crowd in downtown and my LVA coupon book was lifted out of my back pocket. I had my wallet in my front pocket and my hand on the wallet, but they got all my coupons before I had a chance to use any of them.

    I have talked to three people on poker tables who have been pick pocketed in Vegas.

    One I remember had been drunk and an easy target. That was on the strip near Tropicana.

    The most disturbing was an Austrailian who had been robbed while playing at a table. The crook was playing along side of him and seemingly by accident knocked over his chips. Bending down to help retrieve them gave the guy the opportunity to snatch the victim's wallet and then be gone before the fellow even knew his wallet was missing. I think front pocket would help here too. That and being cautious if anything happens to distract.

    When I faced a bevy of prostitutes, some putting their arms through mine to entice me into buying them, in that corridor in front of the Quad at 3 or 4 AM on my last trip, I kept one hand on my wallet in my left pocket and the other on the wallet carrying my coupons in my right pocket.

    It is also a good idea not to take more than the money you need for that day and perhaps not all your credit cards.

    I lost my driver's license this past trip in the airport. I put it in my hand with a sheet showing the number my flight after I unpacked my suitcases and repacked for the airplane checked luggage and carryon. Very suddenly it was gone and it did not turn up then, nor has it been mailed to me. It was one with a chip for border crossing. I wonder if it was my own failure to hold on to it or if while I was repacking someone saw an opportunity to quickly snatch the license out of my hand.

    By the way. Carrying a bank card with a photo ID saved me a long session of questioning to go through security. Once the fellow saw that card and photo,he pointed to it and said, "that is enough" and told me to bring it everytime.

    I was happy it was on the way home. I would have been hassled if it happened on my way into Vegas. It cost me $17 for a duplicate and I'm thinking I may just get another one before I go traveling next time and keep it in another place.

    In line to get my replacement I met a fellow whose wallet was lifting while security were examining it on his way out of Mexico. He got out okay but in Miami was handcuffed to a bench for 8 hours waiting. Finally, some smart investigator asked him some questions and found out he had pistol permit and so his fingerprints were on file. They took them, ran them, and up came his photograph and he was released. That is a good traveling tip.

    I generally carry a photocopy of my passport and license when I'm traveling. In fact, in Costa Rica and Mexico I keep the actual passport locked in a safe at the hotel and just carry the Xerox. it is not technically legal, but I'd rather have the police make me produce the passport than have a criminal take it. I have not had anyone every ask me for the passport, so I don't know if I'd have to be escorted to my hotel or not.

    In those situations, especially in Costa Rica, being an old, fat white guy I stand out in a crowd and I'm an automatic target. There are ways in Vegas to make us look like a target too. I tend to think I look like the opposite, borderline homeless. Were I an upscale clubber, dressed to the nines, and decorated with jewelry for a night out, I'd be very careful on the streets. There a cab is a good investment.
     
  10. Huddler

    Huddler VIP Whale

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    Good points Dewey! Whenever I travel to Vegas or anywhere by plane, or internationally obviously, I always bring my passport. In Vegas, I keep it in the safe with my bankroll. If someone were to steal my wallet, I would still have appropriate identification to be able to board the plane to get back home. I keep my wallet in my front pocket all of the time anyway so it isnt a change for me.

    I also carry a roll of cash in my other front pocket in Vegas. I drink incessantly while in Vegas and am out all night long casino hopping, partying, so I guess I would be a potential target for a pick pocket. But when I am walking between the casino's, on the Strip, or on FSE, my spider senses always start tingling no matter how much I drink. I put my hand on my cash and am hyper sensitive to people getting close to me. I have yet to be pick pocketed although I have noticed people definitely sizing me up on a few occasions. I just keep my head on a swivel and dont present myself as a weak or distracted target.
     
  11. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    We are always very watchful & careful of our surroundings, and have never had any type of problem. And, for me, I am a BIG fan of the cargo shorts & pants, with the extra pockets (with buttons, velcro, and zippers).
    In addition, I agree with some of the other posters that your wallet can be left locked up in your room, and just keep your license (ID) and one credit card in a secure pocket.
     
  12. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    Interesting responses guys. Since Dewey was talking about international traveling, my dad used to be mariner on merchant vessels when I was young. He's been everywhere and the only place where he had anything snatched/stolen was Brazil. A guy walked past and snatched his camera and started running through the crowd. As my dad started to run after him, another guy grabbed his arm and said to let it go or hed probably end up getting stabbed or killed.

    My dad took the advice and bought another camera instead.
     
  13. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    I have a sad story to share, as told to me by my Mom, on one of her Vegas trips.

    It was a long time ago, back in the early 90's. My Mom went to Vegas with 2 of her friends, a man and a woman. The woman's name was Flo.

    My Mom and Flo were playing slots together at the Fremont and Flo put her purse between two machines (this was back then, I'm sure nobody does that now...)

    Two friendly asian women came and struck up a conversation with my Mom and Flo and soon all of them were laughing and carrying on like old friends. (I bet you can see where this is going...)

    One of the asian women excused herself, saying she had to go to the bathroom. The other asian woman continued to converse with my Mom and Flo. After a while she also left, and my Mom and Flo continued playing.

    Then Flo realized that her purse was gone. Panic. Crying. Hysteria. All of her money for the trip, including her man friend's money, was gone. My Mom said he cried too.

    It was only the 2nd day of their 4 day trip. Sad. I felt like crying too when my Mom told the story.

    My Mom and Flo filed a police report, but even they said chances were slim, if any. They also weren't sure if the asian women were actually the culprits, since Flo put her purse between two machines and anybody could have snatched it, although my Mom and Flo believed it was them.

    Sad, so I wanted to share it, even though it happened a long time ago, it's still possible when we're having a good time in Vegas. There are people out there with ill-intentions.

    We just have to make sure they don't have a chance to carry out their evil deed.:wave:
     
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  14. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Back in the Bad Old Days(tm) when the Mob Ran Vegas(tm) my late aunt used to say that Las Vegas was the safest place there is regarding lack of muggings and purse snatchings and such. When there was one, the casino would not turn it over to the local cops, but to "Guido and the boys" who would find the perp and have a "chat" with him.

    Nowadays it's obviously much different! :(

    Lately I've been seeing purse hooks that latch, hooks with a metal shield around them, and hooks placed out of reach of an over-reaching arm in the restrooms. Some restrooms (Paris comes to mind immediately) have totally enclosed stalls with doors that can't be reached over. Most everyone I know is too well aware of the "reach over and grab" heist and is vigilant against it. Still, it goes on and robbers still get away with it. :(

    I would think that in a casino restroom, which is usually well-traveled, that in the case of a "reach over and grab" that someone would notice and alert security, but obviously not always. :(

    Also, I think common sense would say to never never ever keep "all of your money for the trip" in a single place!
     
  15. Someone

    Someone High-Roller

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    with the number of members on this forum and the frequency of their travels to Vegas it is surprising there are not a few more stories and I was not surprised that those that are very frequently in Vegas like Dewey had at least heard of a few stories......though still pretty rare overall in my opinion

    I will say this to the OP you are positively setting yourself up by constantly touching your wallet or pockets and the like.....as another poster stated those that are going to do something are most likely watching things like a hawk looking for the right time to act

    by constantly touching your wallet and pockets you are showing you are new to the "scene", you are potentially carrying more cash than you are usually comfortable with, and you are uncomfortable which means even though you are telling yourself you are being cautious if you were to be accosted or pick pocketed it would "phase" you for a bit before you were able to react and that is the bit of time needed for someone to get away without you getting a good look at them or really catching an overall idea of where they went

    the flip side of course is the doofus that is so comfortable they are chatting away on their phone while eating a hotdog and running their gopro while paying attention to nothing at all......until all they see is a blur running off with their valuables while their thumbs make reactionary motions to txt the police they were just robbed, but only txt air because someone just ran off with their phone

    also bathrooms seem to be the place where I have seen things written about happening....in addition to the purse snatching story told in this thread I know I have read somewhere (not sure if it was here) about someone 99.99% sure they were being followed into the bathroom to be mugged right before they changed course and the people following them hit the exit doors fast......another story someone was panhandled VERY aggressively in a bathroom (I believe downtown) and in yet another I think someone came to blows with two guys and they got some cash off of him before another customer walked in and ran them off....I think that was actually on the strip at a lower end large casino and the guys were out of the bathroom and out the door before the guy could even get his wits about him (he was not hurt bad just caught way off guard).....I think that story started out where someone followed him (he felt like) and then went to the bathroom (ok so just his mind messing with him) and then here came the two guys right back in to grab at his pockets and try and run while he was finishing up

    but again that is a few stories after reading thousands and thousands of stories and reports about trips to Vegas.....honestly I think theft from room stories are more common from what I read (excluding the ones that don't seem true even)

    I would suggest if you are really concerned getting a cheap wallet like a velcro one as a "throwdown" wallet and place it in your back pocket with old used up gift cards or other "cards" that have no actual information or value on them and perhaps 5 dollars in ones and place it in your back pocket.....place your real wallet with a single credit card and the cash you need for small purchases like food or drink in it and put it in a front pocket and then any gambling money in the other front pocket or a FULLY ZIPPERED or WELL VELCROED cargo shorts pocket in the front as well.....or you could switch the money.....so you are leaving the real wallet in the front and pulling out (flashing) a very small amount of cash for purchases as you walk about

    I personally am less concerned with pick pockets or a grab and dash than I am with a roll up and pull a gun scenario (as was told in this thread but overall seemingly VERY rare)....that is what the throw down wallet is for.......it is coming out ASAP and going right into their hands or onto the ground and as soon as they look away or move to drive off I am gone.....I personally HATE that, but in Vegas you can't carry most places anyway so you just give up the 5 singles, the used up or worthless gift cards and the velcro wallet and move on with life....and at the same time it does double as the decoy if someone is to pick pocket you as well

    so my advice is watch the bathrooms at the lower end casinos especially the ones by the exits, use the ones further into the casino and stop fidgeting about yourself and just divide up things carry only what you need and have a decoy wallet if you are really concerned
     
  16. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

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    I've never placed my wallet in my back pocket. It feels weird. I always walk with my hands in my pockets.

    iPad - Love them! But I'm not one who carrys it around to shoot photos or video. That's just plain crazy!
    I saw Paul McCartney in concert on May 19th (awesome btw) and one girl brought her huge frigg'in iPad!
    I've seen people in Europe do that as well. Pure Craziness if you ask me! Buy a camera people! Geez!
     
  17. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    Once i was at osheas with my daughter. she had a big open top type purse thing that was in front of her on the counter. A guiy next to asked if I had a smoke and we both thurned and said no.

    Shortly after that she realized her camera was gone from her purse. Must have been a guy on the other side of us that snatched it when we both turned are heads. pretty smooth when you think about it.

    Another time i was taking pictures out front of aria by th etraffic circle fountain wall thing. This guy comes walking along and bumps me and I could feel him touch my wallet.

    i turned and called him on it and said if he touches my wallet pocket again i would cut his f'in arm off.

    He got the hint pretty quick and left. he could use some practice.
     
  18. Smo

    Smo Mr. Las Vegas

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    Been going to Vegas for 25+ years and never heard a direct story about this from anyone I know or knew then.

    I do remember there used to be signs on the wooden posts surrounding the platform area you stand on when watching the pirate show outside over at TI. They said be aware of pickpockets and hang on to your valuables (something along those lines). This was many years ago, so not sure if the signs are still there or not!
     
  19. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    The places I've heard of things like this happening are Carnaval Court (when it used to be crowded and zooey) and by the TI pirate show.

    In all of my many trips to Las Vegas I was once the victim of a crime against person. A few years ago some creep very blatantly grabbed me right on the left, uh ... boob, on a dance floor. I did not get a look at who it was as it was very crowded and such. It was obvious that the perp was long gone. With a very loud band and such, a scream and a very loud "what the {f-bomb}" just blends in to the overall racket.

    Another scam I was warned about at a conference several years back was somebody who had conference badge and lanyard and all of that was at a bar/club/whatever and said he needed a ride back and asked a conference-goer for one. They get in the car then the guy pulls out a gun and robs the victim. I also heard of a couple pulling a similar scam.
     
  20. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    My bankroll always goes in my front pocket. If I encounter a crowd or if I know my attention is going to be elsewhere (watching the fountains, etc.), my hand goes in that pocket. If they can get my cash out of my front pocket while my hand is in that pocket, they can have it.

    To the OP's question: I've never had anything taken from me, nor do I know anyone who has.
     
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