Monday, March 11, 2013

New Zealand: Chinese Couple Victimized by Assailants at Hamilton Gardens, Cell Phones, "Fanny Pack" Stolen

A 60-something Chinese couple were victimized by two assailants on March 12, New Zealand time, while walking in Hamilton Gardens, a favored tour destination on the country's North Island.

One of the "thugs" cut the shirt of a Chinese woman as he was slicing off her "fanny-pack" which was used to safeguard valuables, an anti-theft deterrent I DON'T recommend to travelers. The incident occurred at 1500 hours. Additionally, the assailants also stole two mobile phones as part of the "snatch and grab."

COMMENT: The daytime attack was very similar to an incident that occurred near the Waikato Riverbank last week, although in that case the criminal ran off after the woman refused to surrender her valuables, a response I don't recommend, as there have been a considerable number of violent crimes in New Zealand.

Travelers and tourists should not use "fanny-packs" to carry their valuables, money, passport, etc., largely because of a common criminal tactic to cut them off of victims' waists.

It is far more prudent to carry a flat wallet in one's front pocket (this also applies to women), where it is protected from pickpockets. 

Another consider is to wear a travel vest that enables the traveler to conceal several items in zippered pockets. 

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Kristine Clark at the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200. Alternatively information can be left with Crime-Stoppers on 0800 555111.