Friday, February 15, 2013

India: Portuguese Tourist a Victim of Motorized "Snatch-and-Grab" Larceny in Calangute

According to The Times of India, a Portuguese tourist walking in the vicinity of St. Anthony's Chapel in Calangute at mid-day on Tuesday (February 12) was the victim of a "snatch-and-grab" larceny when two young men on a motorcycle grabbed her handbag as she was walking down the street.

Reportedly, the young woman lost "3,000 in cash, a credit card, reading glasses, a mobile phone, and other items including medicines, all totally worth around 9,000," although the TIMES report did not clarify whether the loss was in rupees, dollars or euros.

COMMENT: Regardless of the type of currency the losses stem from, the criminal tactic used in this incident are typical of those used in the majority of developing countries where two-wheeled, motorized vehicles are a common form of transportation.

A developed skill for travelers is to be very cognizant of the criminal tactics used in countries visited and take steps to counter them by doing the following:

1. Avoid wearing ear buds for music, as it deafens you from listening for approaching two-wheeled, motorized vehicles or other threats;

2. Avoid carrying tote bags that swing back and forth;

3. Carry small amounts of cash;

4. Avoid  walking along curbs, as they make you vulnerable to "snatch-and-grab" tactics;

5. If someone on a moving vehicle grabs your tote bag, don't resist, as they may be armed;

6. Don't carry your passport in a tote bag--make a photocopy of it and carry it in a zippered pocket;

7. Constantly be observant of people watching you and be prepared to act quickly; and

8. Avoid wearing any expensive-looking eye-wear, jewelry, watches or necklaces.