A Glimpse of Avoiding Pickpocketing

How do you avoid pickpocketing?

Throughout my life, I’ve been very aware of my surroundings and can get a sense when I need to be more protective of my belongings. Rome was definitely one of those places. Only once have I been pickpocketed, and it was in a crowded dance club. Rome itself is like a crowded dance club. The first sign is when someone you don’t know approaches you.

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Rome is known for having teams of pickpocketers. One person distracts you while another takes your stuff. I was prepared and was wearing pants that had only zipper-pockets. My backpack was zipped up with my most valuable contents being the least accessible. This was more important as it had my camera gear and that had already been stolen during our world trip.

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While taking pictures around the Colosseum, a man approached me asking what time it was. I told him quickly and started to walk away. He started following me, and I walked faster. Then this second guy starts approaching me from my right. These guys seemed out of place and were definitely not tourists, so I just kept walking, avoiding what was an obvious pickpocket attempt.

When in super crowded situations, I will often use a money belt under my pants for money, identification, and credit cards. As for my camera gear, I try to minimize how much I’m carrying. If I know I’m going into a super crowded situation, I put my backpack in front of me in very crowded places.


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