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My wife and I were recently dining al fresco and I was reminded of an important tip, especially for travelers, though this unfortunate scenario can happen at home, too.

When you’re traveling, you really have to put your belongings in a safe and secure spot. This includes when you’re working on your laptop or even reading emails on your phone.

YouTube video

And when you’re at a restaurant, especially at an outdoor café where you’re seated on or near the sidewalk or street, you have to be even more aware. Never leave your phone on the table or your bag on the end of the chair or on the ground by your feet. A thief can easily run by or worse, grab it while on a bicycle or scooter and you will have no chance of catching up with them. Watch the video above of two businessmen eating outside when someone nabs one of their laptops.

YouTube video
This can also happen inside a restaurant. For example, a thief may try to distract you by putting a map or sales flyer over your device so they can easily grab it. Above is an example of this, which took place in a McDonald’s. I found this video on the City of London Police YouTube channel and they wrote that they are “warning people who visit coffee shops, bars and restaurants to be mindful when leaving their valuables on tables. Thieves are purposely targeting customers by distracting them and stealing their mobile phones and other valuable items.”

YouTube video

In the video above, you can see how it can also happen while you’re walking down the street. The same thing happened to my brother while he was talking on the phone in Norwalk, Connecticut (and my brother isn’t a small guy). Somebody just snatched the phone out of his hand while on a bicycle.

YouTube video

Unfortunately, you also have to be careful on buses and trains, especially if you’re seated next to the door. As you will see in the video above, the thief waits to grab a passenger’s phone before running off the train but then stabbed him in the leg when he caught up with him.

I’m not here to scare you but to keep you better informed because thieves are getting trickier and more desperate. It’s yet another good reason to invest in a money belt that can be hidden for smaller items like your phone or an anti-theft crossbody bag like this one. Having your phone stolen really sucks but even more so while you’re traveling. So always make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your device out where it’s a visible target.


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