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Ever been mugged

Travel Forums General Talk Ever been mugged


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1. Posted by kkwijibo (Full Member 56 posts) 10y

Just wondering if anyone has been mugged on their travels and how they got out of it, got help... which country if it was a dark alley....etc...

2. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 10y

I've been all over the world, and never had any trouble. The trick is to avoid trouble BEFORE you get into it.

If you DO get into bother, don't risk too much.

Use common sense and take simple precautions. Carry only small amounts of money. I like to take travellers cheques - make sure you have a note of the numbers. Keep phone numbers for any credit card companies handy so you can contact them if the cards are stolen.

If you are robbed, just hand it over - it's not worth the risk.

3. Posted by tom_kirk (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

I was mugged in Sydney when i was working there by a gang of Aboriginals while waling along a dark street (which i happened to live on at the time!) But lucky enough i only had my phone on me at the time.

Its not too much to worry about cuz i travelled through 4 different continents over 8 months (including half of south America which is noturious for muggings) and i can confidenTly say that i have been mugged and bothered more in my home town of Nottingham than i have ever away and i felt so much safer in other countries as well

so use common sense and always remember the famous qoute

"shit happens"

4. Posted by HereICome (Full Member 67 posts) 10y

I did what you should NOT do when being robbed... and found that the Police in Lima are scarier than the criminals!
I was mugged in Lima in April this year. It was my first day there and i was excited and not taking enough notice of my surroundings.
We wandered a couple of blocks out of the tourist area, without realising it, into a market area where there were no other tourists. Im the type of traveller who always tries to get away from the touristy areas, but this was NOT the place to do it. We saw a lady with a monkey and took out our cameras. Dumb, dumb, dumb!
3 men grabbed my friend's camera then came for me. I struggled but of course they got it. Then, without thinking, I chased the guy who had my camera and dived onto his back. As i hung there and felt how big and strong he was, all the warnings about not fighting and about handing it over came rushing back and I couldnt believe what i was doing! Dumb! He swung his arm back at me and hit me hard in the mouth, splitting my lip. So now I had no camera and may have needed stitches!
We approached the local police, the first we saw, but should have looked for the Tourist Police instead. They spoke no English. Luckily i had some Spanish. They took us to a very dodgy-looking police station, kept us for almost 3 hours, typed our statement using 1 finger on an old typewriter with 3 sheets of carbon paper for copies. Thru-out the ordeal they sneered at us, asked us if we were married, asked if we were alone, and treated us like filth. Finally, they told us they were taking us to the Tourist Police. They put us in an old beat up car (I sat on a spring). The 2 of us were in the back with a policeman crammed in with us and 2 police in the front. The door on our side was permanently locked so we were trapped. It was the scariest ride... they drove erratically, on the wrong side, swerving, putting on the siren if a car or pedestrian got in the way and then drove into a desolate area of backstreets and dead-end roads. The whole time they were sneering at us as they talked and laughed. I felt like I'd walked into a bear trap. Then they drove down a dead-end road, stopped and began arguing with each other. I could only think about the poor tourists in La Paz who were taken by fake police to their death.
Eventually, they turned around and drove us to the Tourist Police, thank goodness. These guys spoke some English, were respectful and kind, what a relief, tho we didnt relax again till we flew out of Lima.
What did I learn? Dont get too excited about anything so that you lose your vigilance, learn at least a little of the language before you go, don't assume the police will give you the same assistance as you get at home, and let the robbers have what they want coz theyre gonna get it one way or another anyway.

5. Posted by rweb (Budding Member 16 posts) 10y

I got mugged in Germany.
I stayed at a volunteer working camp, some of us went to a bar, and stupid me went back to the camp on my own in the middle of the night. Just as I reached the camp (luckily) came this guy with a knife and tried to rip me off my money. But the thing was, I did not have any money. So he continued threatening me, and cut me in both hands, as I was holding them in front of my face. One of my fellow camp members woke up from all the havoc, found an axe and chased the robber. And I had to go to the hospital and sew a couple of stitches, and of course give a statement to the police.
A while after coming home, the police sent me a letter informing me that the case was closed, as they could not find the guy.
Scary experience...

[ Edit: Edited at Aug 13, 2006 5:33 PM by rweb ]

6. Posted by Demian (Full Member 117 posts) 10y

I got mugged in st. Petersburg, Russia. It is fair custom there to take opportunity taxi's in stead of regula rones: just raise your hand at the streetside, and soon an ordinary Russian will stop. They usually bring you to your destination for half what a regular taxi would cost.
At one wild night I lost tracl of all my friends, as we had all a vodka or two too much, and I remember vaguely that some of my friends went off with russian girls. In the end I couldn't find any of them in the nightclub we went to, so I decided to go home. (I stayed with some of them in an apartment)
As I was wainting at an intersection with my hand raised, a Russian guy of about my age approached me, asking where I was going to. I named the suburb, and he said he was going the same direction so we decided to share the ride.

As we got one, and made a good price, he asked me if I could pay, as he had no cash on him. He would pay me back when we were at his friends place he was going.
I was totally pissed, so the usual alarmbells that would have been operating full swing by then remained silent...and I agreed.

As we drove, my new friend Sergei directed the driver ever further from the route, and in to a shabby dark neighbourhood. We came to a very dark street, where I could make out some people standing at the side. We pulled over, and at that moment Sergei asked me if I had any more money. I said I did, and he bluntly demanded me to hand it over. I refused obviously, and at that moment he shouted soemthing in russian to the people outside the car. The doors on both sides (I was sitting in the back) swung open and two of his -rather big- friends got in. They asked me for the money again, less friendly this time. I had only about 600 rouble (17,5 euro/22 USD) left, so I gave it to them...not going to risk my life for that amount of money. Not that they had any weapons I could see, but I heard horror stories about people being beaten to death...

Sergei took it with a grin, whispering 'for drugs!' as he gave me a wink. They asked for my cell phone too, but I didn't have one with me, so they turned the attention to the driver (who was obviously no part in the plot). That poor guy had to hand over about 4000 rouble, a months salary for the average russian...

After they left, the driver even brought me home, making thousand excuses for driving into that neighbourhood...

Only the next morning, after sleeping off the bad vodka-hangover, I fully realised what happened and what have could happen...

7. Posted by aleah (Full Member 400 posts) 10y

What a coincidence, exactly one year ago I got mugged in Ecuador!

I sat in a restaurant at the bus station waiting for my bus. A couple sat down at my table and I already had a bad feeling about them, they looked like criminals to me. Suddendly they got up and walked away, that was when I realized they had my backpack which was sitting in the corner (stupid me). I ran after them, but they had it already handed to someone else before. But I got 2 of them (brave&stupid me). Then I called the police which showed up really quickly along with the many locals staring at the "gringa". They shut the whole bus station down in order to find the two others, which have been been witnessed by two other people sitting in the restaurant.....

On the way to the police station one of the thiefs and me had to sit in the back seat of the police car, suddenly the door opens and one of the police officers takes away the munition of a gun, which has been in the backseat all the time....

I had me waiting in the police office until midnight until they said to me I should come again the next day at 7 in the morning in order to get the papers for my travel insurance.

Now the best part...I show up at 7 (Swiss-puncutal me)and they ask me to sit down. The chief in charge falls asleep just in front of me, I couldn't believe it...finally he wakes up and asks me if I feel tired, so I respond: "no, but you seem to be tired". Big mistake! He had me waiting for another two hours. Then he offers me an icecream and asks me if I would like to go out with him this evening! (after having asked me how old? boyfriend? kids?)I declined, and then he asked me if I would like to take a picture of the cocaine the found last night!! (my camera was in the backpack)

that was actually one of my best travel experiences...and one of the worst as well

8. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 10y

Alright, my story is not as dramatic but it has a happy end and happy ends are always good ;)!

Three years ago my best friend Maren and I were travelling/living in a campervan in New Zealand for almost a year and we returned to Wellington twice during our travels. The second time we were a bit broke and couldn't afford a backpackers or a camping ground (our van was our home anyway) and we decided to spend the night in a "safe" parking building in the middle of the city where we had stayed before. I know this is nothing our parents should ever know about but it was a covenient place, close to nightlife and work the next morning. We had also made friends with the security and thought everything was fine. So, Maren and I went out one night and returned "home" slightly tipsy. Tipsy enough that we did not notice the two guys who had just broken into our van and had taken off with a backpack. In the morning we finally realized what had happened and the worst thing was that they had only knicked Maren's small backpack containing all personal stuff such as her flightticket, her traveldiary, tons of undeveloped film rolls, unfinished letters to friends and family, self-made jewellery...
She was devastated and I not only felt sorry for her but also couldn't understand why they hadn't taken any of my stuff. Luckily we had all the valuables on us at all times.
Maren's written memories of 9 months travelling in N.Z. had vanished and in our despair we put up notes in and around the parking building in search for the backpack.
Two days later we received a phonecall from the police that somebody had handed in the backpack and we could come and pick it up. All what was missing was her self-made jewellery. The thieves had taste and Maren and I were the happiest travellers in the world . This story is another reason why I love N.Z., it probably would have never happened anywhere else.


9. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

Twice, and bizarrely, both times in Geneva of all places, although for a grand total of less than 10usd. And once on a train in the UK for 2x AA batteries!

One Pickpocket as well, but thats not the same.

[ Edit: Edited at Aug 16, 2006 10:33 AM by Gelli ]

10. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

I was mugged the night before I left Chile for Argentina. My friends and I were walking along the main street in Santiago (Bernardo O'Higgins) having just left the bus station where we bought our tickets for Mendoza.

The usual Sunday throng were snaking their way up and down the Alameda browing at the street stalls. We moped along chatting and talking. Next thing, I felt my mag being yanked violently (my shoulder was in severe pain for about a week afterwards!) and the guy disppeared into the sea of people behind me. I shouted, not so much at him, but more in shock as I realised that my whole life was in the bag. That evening I had my passport with me (as you have to have it to buy international bus tickets and so I had brought it out with me). Also, I had just made a withdrawal for a pretty substantial amount of cash. My MP3 player was in there, my camera, credit cards...the lot!

Suddenly, out of nowhere, this guy dressed like a punk rocker appeared and started shouting "Que direccion?!" So i pointed and off he ran after the guy. I stood there feeling completely helpless, not knowing what was happening. Less than 2 mins later, he reappeared with my bag, WITH EVERYTHING IN IT!! I couldnt believe it! I flung my arms around him and thanked him in my awkward Spanish. He seemed to not want any thanks and took off as quickly as he'd arrived.

BUT WAIT FOR THIS! As we stood there, rooting through the bag checking that everything was there, and recovering from the shock of what had happened, THE SAME GUY WHO MUGGED ME REAPPEARED AND GRABBED THE BAG AGAIN!!! But the second time around, everyone around was ready for him and he didnt get far!

So, I got the bag back a second time! It was a totally surreal experience and later on that night, I was lying in bed thinking about it and feeling that I should have made some gesture towards the guy who helped me. All I can do is hope that the universe takes care of him and something amazing happens for him!