How it works:
- Version 1: one blocks you at the door (pretends to tie shoe laces/drop something), the other steals from behind and slips to a third who escapes, and one to block others from viewing the act.
- Version 2: some time it perfectly – they snatch your stuff and jump out just before the doors close.
- Version 3: at escalators, they trip you or bump into you. Next moment, your valuables are gone.
Places to beware:
- Bologna: bus 20 from Porto san donato to Piazza Maggiore, Stazione di Bologna Centrale
- Cinque Terre: the Cinque Terre train across the 6 stops
- Florence: Santa Maria Novella main station, buses 7 (to Fiesole), 10 (to Settignano) and 12/13 (to Piazza Michelangelo), Stazione de Firenze
- Livorno: trains to Florence (due to cruise ships passengers disembarking in Livorno for a day trip)
- Milan: Milan–Malpensa Airport, Stazione Centrale, Stazione Cadorna, Duomo station, Cairoli station, Lanza station
- Naples: Napoli Centrale train station
- Pisa: on the train to and from airport
- Rome: Termini central railway station metro to any tourist destination from here, bus 64 (shuttles back and forth to St. Peter’s Square, also known as the pickpockets’ express), trains to and from Fiumicino (the international airport)
- Venice: vaporettos/boat transport, Santa Lucia Stazione
What to do:
- Passport: carry a photocopy instead of the actual one.
- Valuables: wallet in front pocket, small valuables in a money belt/hidden pouch, large valuables in an anti-theft bag.
- Travel insurance: get a good one that covers theft – check out the various travel insurance comparison platforms to find the best deal that works for you.