Pickpocketing Has Skyrocketed in Paris Over the Past Year — Here's How to Avoid It (Video)
Incidents on the city's metro increased by 74 percent.
Savvy travelers who opt to take public transportation need to be on high alert in Paris as reports of pickpocketing on the city's metro stations have increased 74 percent over the past year.
From January to October, the Paris metro saw a reported 7,485 thefts. In the same period last year, that number was only 4,721, French outlet, Le Parisien reported this week.
The Metro station with the highest number of thefts is Châtelet-les-Halles, one of the busiest hubs in the city center, where most travelers connect to other metro lines. Another highly-reported theft spot is the Gare du Nord train station, where the Eurostar and trains to the city’s airports meet.
City police has increased their presence in popular metro stations to monitor train platforms against pickpockets.
It’s not just unwitting tourists who are victims. Even the most experienced traveler could find their wallet has slipped away on the Paris metro. Earlier this year, famed travel TV host Rick Steves revealed that he was pickpocketed while traveling around the city.
Not surprisingly, pickpocketing was found to be most common in Paris’s high-traffic tourist spots. The Line 1 Metro — which stops at popular destinations like the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens — is particularly afflicted by pickpockets roaming the train cars. Other popular Metro lines for pickpockets are the 2, 6, 8 and 9, according to Le Parisien.
Pickpocketing is also rampant in the neighborhood of Montmartre, particularly around the Sacre-Coeur church.
To avoid getting pickpocketed on your next trip, exercise extra vigilance with your wallet and your phone if you are in these areas. Avoid distractions like texting while walking, as it may make you a likelier target for pickpockets. Additionally keep copies of travel documents should one be stolen and leave valuables in your hotel room.
And for any small belongings or extra cash that are necessary for your day out in the streets of Paris, it may not be a bad idea to pick up a money pouch to keep things extra safe.