You could be next

Today one of my coworkers watched a young man selling small electronics out of a shopping bag in the park near our office. He says he has seen the young man before, and he called the police – but of course, they weren’t able to respond quickly enough and the man left the area. The young man was clean-cut and wearing a business suit and tie (though the jacket was too big for him), and was carrying a white shopping bag like what you’d get from a department store. Inside, however, was an assortment of small electronics – cameras, cell phones, even a laptop. He made a circuit around the park, offering the goods for cash. My boss watched him offer three digital cameras to some ladies sitting on a bench, and a MacBook to someone else. Most likely, the items were picked up around the area from unsuspecting people – at coffee shops, or lifted right out of a purse. His outfit would allow him to blend in with the thousands of business folks working in downtown Seattle; I wouldn’t give him a second glance if he was behind me in line at Starbucks.

So here’s my McGruff advice:  pay attention to your stuff when you are out in public, for there are sticky fingers around and they may not “look” suspicious. Don’t leave your laptop unattended when the barista calls your order. Zip up your backpack, purse, or bag and keep a good hold on it. Don’t leave your purse or shopping bag under your chair in restaurants, where someone could walk behind you and grab it. Don’t set your Kindle or tablet down on the chair beside you. And don’t turn away from your stroller when you have your purse in the basket (I have seen this in a store, someone left their stroller a good fifteen feet away as she browsed some clothing racks and her purse was underneath in plain sight).


About wonkydonkey

You want random? You got it. Mostly knitting and gardening, with some home improvements, pets, baking, family, and the occasional bad joke thrown in for good measure.
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4 Responses to You could be next

  1. keisha says:

    My least favorite thing is seeing the stroller with the kid in it fifteen feet away from mom, at which point I say really loud “I’m sorry your mommy doesn’t love you enough to pay attention to you.” Electronics can be replaced due to your stupidity but children not so much….

  2. Heather says:

    We are seeing the resurgence of an old scam. Someone gets on the bus in front of you and instead of paying asking the driver a complicated question. You of course have started up the steps and now your are stuck between this guy and the person behind you who is crowding up a bit “so they don’t lose their place in line” What they are really doing is rifling the backpack or purse you have slung over your shoulder or on your back. After a couple of moments the person asking the question gets off the bus – more confusion and then suddenly you don’t have a wallet – phone, tablet pc – whatever. It has happened to 2 library staffers in the last 6 months. Both of them catch the bus at 3rd and Union.

    • wonkydonkey says:

      That’s awful! I am leery of pickpockets in the market, so I’ve made it a habit to hold my purse to the front, against my chest instead of slung to the back, when I’m in a crowded area. I see so many people who don’t seen to have any idea how accessible their bags are.

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