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Be careful in France and Paris

KL
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Be careful in France and Paris

I had ever worked in France with my workmates for two months this year.

………

On 18 Aug,we drove a car(BMW118, rent from the SIXT at airport)with my three workmates to Provence of South France- Marseilles,Toulon,and Nice then to Saint Tropez,Arles,Nimes and Avignon for a vacation tour.

At about 20:00 we had just arrived in Nice,19 Aug ,we parked the car at the road by the beach,but,after we swam in the sea 30min later,we found that our car's right rear window was hit broken,all of our baggages in the rear box were stolen,all of our passports ,cash-thousands of EURO and USD—that is our living expenses for two months in France ,.....,and my three professional Nikon cameras -F4s+AFS17-35(Film) and D90+AFS18-105kit(Digital) )、Panasonic LX2—the total value is about 4000EURO ,my SONY laptop for work—the value is 1380ERUO,movable harddisk with all my digital photoes in recent 8 years,the other three man’s SONY DV(digital video) ,the value is 600EURO,and cameras,all of our work licenses and Badges in France ,Drive License,air tickets of Air France ,work invite letter,insurance bill and the other work and private documents,the tax refund cheque of the LV and SWAROVSKI stores of Paris and the other city… ....,My God!

All the value of our baggages is more than 20000EURO.

We called the Police Station of Nice city immediately,but the policemen would not come to the beach,and there was not any one patrol policemen at the beach,there is not any one monitor camera(video) at the crossroad there.

One local French man guided us to the Police Station.There were so many foreign tourists from England and other countries were stolen in Nice city were waiting to report .Waited until to about 0:00 ,one policeman asked me enter all the messages about us in the computer-my name ,post address,what we lost .....,and then,the policeman printed a lost report(declaration) to us ,and asked us to leave away , and would not listen to me any one word more(Because we wanted to told them that the work Badges of us in France are very important ),the attitude of the policemen is discourteous and impatient .They didn’t care about where and how we were stolen.

The second day ,we went to the Consulate at Marseilles to get our temporary tour passport,the Consul General told us there are at least one or two cases with foreigners were stolen or plundered in Marseilles and Nice every week.

the Consul General lend 500EURO to us ,so we could drove back .We return the money one week later

And,one of my workmate’ baggages was ever plundered on the Metro train of Paris.

One of my friend’bagpack was ever stolen at a business exhibition in Paris.

Some of our craft brother were ever stolen all the living expenses for two months at the Airport De Gaulle of Paris.

We will annunciate and publicize the safe caution to foreigners who will go to France ,Paris or Marseilles and Nice for tour and work or business on some travel or photograph websites or forums on the internet all over the world. So the foreigners to France can avoid be stolen.

Be careful with yourself in France

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1. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

If you read the guidebooks this is something that's not uncommon in these destinations. To be posting a one-time post to warn everyone to 'Be careful in France and Paris' is alarming. There are also posts in the Barcelona forum warning people that Barcelona is full of thieves. One just has to be aware of one's surroundings (metro for example) and I realize you say you've been in France for two months, but that is quite too much valuables to be leaving in the car unattended even if it sounds like you put them in the trunk.

Ohio, USA
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2. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

I'm sorry but leaving your car with €20K worth of stuff in it while you go for a swim is asking for trouble in any part of the world. Did you at least take the ordinary precaution of making sure that no-one could see what was in your car's luggage compartment when you left it or did you spend several minutes arranging your belongings with the compartment open before you went off to the beach? Did you make sure that nothing that would have been of any interest to thieves was visible inside the car?

Your story reminds me of the tourist I met once who told me that I should be careful because XXXX city was full of thieves. When asked why he said this he told me that his camera had been stolen from his car. I asked if the luggage compartment had been broken into and he replied, no, the camera had been left on the seat. When I said that the thieves must have broken a window he replied that the car had not been locked...

Sorry for your loss, but...

New Hampshire
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for Paris
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3. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

Though it is just awful that this happened to you, any amount of research and planning ahead of your trip would have rendered you far more cautious than to leave valuables, especially cash and passports, in an unattended rental vehicle, parked by a beach.

Same goes for the subsequent incidents, which, without knowing all the details, do seem as though those involved did not diligently secure/protect their belongings.

When unprotected/unsecured things vanish during your travels, there's nearly nothing the police can do to help you.

All in all, thieves the world over, go after that which is easily accessible, so the first line of defense is just to make sure anything important to you is not.

If your craft brother was relieved of cash at CDG, I'm wondering where he was carrying it?

Paris, France
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4. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

When people break all the basic rules for their own security, they are not safe in any country.

nashville
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5. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

well why this is basic personal security 101 -- it is still discouraging

one of the things I hate about European rental cars is that they rarely have trunks. while a thief can break into a trunk, it is not as easy as scooping everything out of the back of a hatchback -- they are totally insecure -- and the tonto is just a flag that, yes there is stuff to steal here.

anyone who would lose vast quantities of cash at an airport has not taken the slightest precaution. the way not to be pickpocketed is to not be a walking buffet for pickpockets.

and the way not to have 20K of stuff and passports stolen from a rental car is not to be so foolish as to leave that sort of stuff in a rental car at beach.

Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

In all fairness, it is NOT the experience of travellers everywhere that they cannot leave valuables in a locked car, so warnings and real-life experiences are valuable.

As an example, I live in a place where you could leave your front door unlocked while you left for a 2 week holiday and everything would be exactly as you left it when you got back. It wouldn't be the slightest bit out of the ordinary to park along a beach and leave luggage in the trunk of a locked car without the slightest worry. We know lots of people who lost the keys to their homes 20, 30 years ago and never bothered having them replaced.

While it is true it's just common sense to assume theft will happen in big cities, I would be among the 'unenlightened' who would not have hesitated to leave luggage in a locked car at a beach. Where else would I put it while I'm travelling? I expect the possiblity of petty theft and pickpocketing, but smashing in the back window? That, to me, is extreme!

More practical advice would be to tell those of us who do not live in places where such extreme thefts occur, what should we be doing with our belongings when we are between hotels if we would like to enjoy what Europe has to offer, without being called foolish or reckless if some thug breaks into our car?

KL
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7. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

Thanks very much for your answers!

So I think it's the fault of mine and Nice city.

KL
11 posts
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8. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

—"......Visitors should also be aware that their rental-car license plates often signal that they are tourists. Many of France's rental cars are registered in the Marne region for cost reasons and therefore have license-plate numbers ending with 51. Those who rent such cars should avoid leaving their belongings in a car whenever possible."

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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9. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

Smash and grab crimes are fairly common at beaches in California and also in Hawaii. The only safe way to go to a beach is to leave your things in your hotel (and get a room with a safe). Cameras are always scary to leave behind, we take turns going in the water most places we go (we live near a beach, we've had a spate of such crimes in the past year, and not just cars, also beach houses and houses near one of our large high schools). Several rings of thieves have been caught but there are always more.

It happens with less frequency (but it does happen) in national parks, at trail heads,particularly places near trailheads (like the Great Smokey Mountains).

So, while it doesn't happen everywhere - at tourist spots there I live (NOT Disneyland of course), it does happen. It's especially common at beaches. Rental cars stand out like a sore thumb and young hooligans watch carefully to see where the occupants go.

When I lived in a different city, seemingly pastoral, there were groups of high school students who studied housing areas to watch for when the moms and kids left for the community swimming pool during swim lesson season and kicked in doors to get TV's - everyone had to get security doors (there was a bluff above these homes that made watching a bunch at a time easy - and these kids had just enough common sense to study the situation and so few scruples that it was like a game for them). AFAIK, that same neighborhood still has the same problem every summer.

Take your valuables with you, and someone always stays on shore to watch - at no time should everyone be in the water!

Paris, France
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10. Re: Be careful in France and Paris

Beaches are among the "best" places for criminals to operate, since people walk away from their cars for hours.