Some of you might be busy people; always multitasking and having many things to do which can get you quite bewildered at times. Then there is that one single day when you decide to place your hand in your pocket expecting your important item, like your wallet, only to have a cold sweat run down your forehead in panic when you realize it’s not there. That feeling of fear when personal items get lost is something you cannot get over quickly.
Unfortunately, it may happen to some of us, having our items pickpocketed without a trace. Cases like these happen very often all around the world and it’s certainly not unique to Trinidad and Tobago at all.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT YOUR ITEMS FROM BEING STOLEN
It depends on your situation. Let’s say you need to go to the marketplace to purchase some vegetables and fruits. Is it a crowded space with many people all around you, being very loud? Where is the location exactly? How are strangers acting towards you? Questions like these are what you should ask yourself before entering a certain area; not only to prevent thieves or pickpockets but for your own overall safety.
Safety is the number one priority you should consider before making any decision. Despite this, there may be a time whereby you might have to take a risk or two because you may not have a choice or want to do something that is necessary for you; this is why we should be taking precautions and beware for pickpockets when traversing through certain locations.
Where would these types of thieves go to commit their criminal acts? It can practically be almost anywhere that has lots of activity. It can range from tourist spots, busy streets, stores – you name it. However, the most important thing in understanding your surroundings are observing the various people that are around you and their behavior. Sometimes it comes down to even the friendly stranger or good Samaritan being a possible perpetrator, but how can you exactly determine that? It is known in many cases that pickpockets work in groups, creating ‘situations’ that will distract the victim through one member of the group while the others does their dirty work behind the scenes.
This will indeed trick many unknowing people because they will forget to watch out for their surroundings and lower their guard. Is the stranger or ‘known’ acquaintance too close to you? Where are they touching? (e.g: Having an arm over your shoulder while the other hand tries to get your wallet at the same time). Most of all, if their behavior seems a little suspicious then it should raise some potential red flags that he or she may not be really ‘on your side’ while taking something valuable from you.
SECURE YOUR BELONGINGS
Another tip to prevent being a target of pickpockets is how you carry about yourself and how you manage your items while walking on the roads and sidewalks. Is your wallet the only important item you keep with yourself? If not, having more items besides your wallet will attract thieves’ eyes since they have more to take easily from you. Where you place the items within your clothing will also determine your chances of having your items stolen, if you put your phone or wallet in your back pant pockets; then you are surely preparing yourself to be pickpocketed already.
It is good to place some important items within a small pouch or bag so that you are secured and it’s harder for others to take your things; but you are still at risk! Always make sure that your bags are tightly secured and zips all the way through. This includes having your bag tightly secured on you at all times so that it won’t be as easy for thieves to pickpocket. Really and truly, they would not want to target someone who took all the necessary precautions.
Backpacks may seem secure but because you carry them on your back they are often a good target for thieves. The zip of a backpack can be unzipped since your eyes will be straight ahead while walking. Keep that in mind the next time you wear your backpack. Always check the zips and look behind you as you walk.
In short, you must always minimize the number of things you carry and if you cannot, you must secure it in a safe bag to hold your items until you are able to store them away. Always be on the lookout; be alert! You never know who is watching you. For instance, do you hide items on your person and then check them publicly to see it they are still secured? Doing that may give thieves an indication that you are hiding something of significant value. Never pat yourself or make obvious signs of looking at your own items unconsciously. If you keep aware that there is always someone waiting for the right moment to strike then you will find yourself being more vigilant and less of a victim.
Hopefully, this article will help you be aware and vigilant towards the many risks and dangers that lie in Trinidad and Tobago.