How to concoct "pickpocket proof(ish)" money/passport, well, thingie?


Saturday AM am heading off to Guatemala (2 wk Spanish course); everything I read says there's PICPOCKETS GALORE down there.
Now, a waist-pack can probably have its belt cut in .5 seconds with a arazor in the hands of one of these people.
(Or maybe not;' maybe it's the best you can do?)
Too late for me to go to a store (Manhattan, say) and buy something, way too busy getting ready, etc.
So, what can be concocted at home?
I assume I am supposed to carry my passport at all times?
Thus, I should be able to carry that in whatever concoction.
I'd think that something worn UNDER the clothes would be savest -- they've got to strip you clean to get at it!
Ideas? Experience?
THANKS!
David
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On Feb 15, 4:20 pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

A soft drawstring bag that hooks through Yer buttonhole and hangs next to Yer other bag..Put the paper money in it and coins in Yer pocket so Yer bags do'nt bang together painfully. Go to the bathroom stall to get the needed bills out so Yer bag is never spotted by a thief..If the bathroom is'nt safe and Ya get mugged then Yer in the wrong part of town..Does the Hotel have a safe? Not all maids are trustworthy either. Dunno about passport and ID,,maybe a shoulder holster of some kind.. Dean
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Super idea! Thanks much.

Good idea too, but unfortunately what's fitting into that will take up all the room that's there, and, to boot, with that it'll already be heavy enough to surely not want to carry anything else anywhere's near it!
:-)
Thanks,
David
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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote in

Not without you KNOWING about it.Especially if you wear the bag in front. It's not easy cutting thru the nylon belt,either.Some have kevlar or steel cords to prevent cutting,too.

get a "Thunderwear" rig;it's a under-the-pants pouch designed to hold a handgun and spare mags without detection,but it would work great for holding a passport or other valuables too.They come in 3 sizes,and are often sold on Ebay.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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When I visit the third world I wear a money belt. In it I keep some cash, a travelers check or two, a photocopy of my passport, and a photocopy of my driver's license. I don't carry my wallet with me at all. I leave that in a hotel safe with my real passport, travelers check numbers, other credit cards, and my driver's license. I just carry some local currency in my pocket, one credit card, and some travelers checks, and an additional copy of my passport. I don't wear any jewelry. I keep my watch in my pocket.
If you don't flash like you have money, then you are less likely to be a target. Keep your stuff in your front pockets where you can also keep your idle hands. Don't put anything important or valuable in your back pockets.
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On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 21:08:42 -0500, "John Grabowski"

Someone makes a waist pocket thingy that is lined with thin wire mesh. I don't know what company but it might be possible to do this yourself.
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snipped-for-privacy@nbnet.nb.ac wrote in

Fanny packs are a lot harder to cut off if you wear them UNDER your clothes. Put it next to you skin and your t-shirt or whatever on top of it. Tucking in your t-shirt OVER it, helps even more. Keep the pouch in front -- the heck with looking like your pregnant or have a mini-gut -- where you can see/feel it at all times.
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On Feb 15, 4:20 pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

wallet. This is what I have used and you forget it's there after a while. You could use a velcro stap to attach a ziplock to you leg I guess.
If you don't have time to shop then put passport and travelers checks it in a clear ziplock down in the front of your pants in your underwear. Your underwear will keep it in place. Wear a loose shirt that will cover it. Customs will not blink when you open your pants to get it out, hehe. I like the drawstring buttonhole idea too.
Moneybelts are used by most people. You can buy one at the airport. I like the wallets that hang on a string around your neck even better. The string is adjustable so you can have it either under your shirt or pants. Both styles I have seen at the airport. I like the wallet better because you have to remove it form your pants to open it.
You are required to believe the stories about pickpockets in Latin America it's a real shame. I have had them put their hand right into my pocket hence the name. Once they cut the bottom of my knapsack and got some oranges. Another time I wore a fanny pack as a decoy and they got some note cards. You can wear one or two decoys like that when unsure of your safety.
There are many stories but the main thing is to resist when being robbed in public. I like to make a karate chop straight down on the culprits arm while making a loud scream something like WTF really loud. They are very alert and will remove their hand before you can chop them and will dissapear before you can even indentify them. Believe it.
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Nice ideas, especially the one about the airport-shops selling them!
Lots of ideas you've got, plus experience up the gazoo; you sure seem to know what you're talking about.
Nifty idea about the decoys!
THANKS, ALL!
David
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David Combs wrote:

One of the easiest and cheapest tricks is to put a large rubber band around your wallet. The rubber band makes extracting the wallet very difficult.
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A friend went to Paris (yes, France) where there are gangs of orphan children (run by an adult, somewhere) that run up to unsuspecting tourists, surround them with their happy, cheerful pleas of "Franc! Franc!" (the French currency) while padding down the "mark". When a wallet or such is found, experienced nimble fingers lift the item and quickly hand it to the fleetest of the kids who whisks it off to their handler in parts unknown, while the rest impede your pursuit (being small enough to remain underfoot --some actually feigning injury if you get aggressive when trying to pursue the runner).
My friend had a money belt *under her bra* which was cut and whipped off in a matter of seconds.
I've heard stories of pairs of crooks on mopeds or bikes who grab purses or other easily grabbable items and yank -- or cut -- it off of your person and speed away.
Before I travelled to Asia I bought a travel wallet, one with an over-the-shoulder 1/4-inch nylon fabric strap. Inside this I threaded a 1/8-inch steel cable and cinched it inside the wallet. No "cut-and-run" would survive it.
More secure than this: I don't carry a pocket wallet when I travel outside. I use a "money clip" (actually one of those black spring steel document clips that holds together a hundred page report) to hold whatever I want to carry plus a few bills -- in my *front* pocket.
Don't carry your passport with you; carry a photocopy of all valuable docs. Also, scan your passport, visa, driver's license, and other valuable documents. If you don't already have a basic free mail account at Yahoo or such, get one and e-mail these scan files to yourself. Leave them on the mail server and memorize and/or write down the user name and password (don't keep these with your other valuables!). If you ever lose your docs, go to any networked computer and download and print these out. Everybody you talk to (embassy, police, etc.) will want to know numbers, numbers, numbers if you want to replace them.
But all this is moot if you're presented with a knife or other persuasion; give up everything if someone really wants it bad enough to inflict harm.
But the most important thing you can take with you is an expanded sense of awareness, your surroundings, people around you. But don't let the memory of your trip be one of constantly looking at everyone around you and wondering if they're a pickpocket. Take senseable precautions, relax, and enjoy.
Good luck,
--
John English


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