Theft & Pickpocketing, Kuala Lumpur
My first visit to KL for fifteen years, and it has changed for the worse. I traveled alone on the Mono Rail, when I tried to get off a drunk type male person, kept getting in front of me, stopping me getting off when the doors opened, the next minute another person came close on my other side, then the drunk type, came to life and strode off down the platform, it was only till I looked down on my shorts pocket, I realized they had stolen my wallet, which was even zipped and buttoned down, the police told me that illegals from the PHILIPPINES, where working in gangs on the mono rail, and that many reports where made about the same type of incident as mine, although it is said security guards are on the platform, this was not so on the station I was robbed, on the journey home with Emirates, the cabin staff told me that on any stopover in KL, they are warned not to use the mono rail due to thefts etc, to late for me to find out, so please be careful, its not a nice thing to happen, and this was first time in all my travels, this has happened to me!
when shopping in petaling street, take good care of your personal belongings. don't lose sight of your bags and other things. a local warned me about this because some pickpockets roam around the area.
also, when you want to buy things, its good to haggle, haggle and haggle some more but be really really sure you're going to buy those things because you don't want to be in trouble. they'll get angry if you ask for discount and then not buy the item.
Was a victim of pickpocketing at Petaling street/Chinatown. A woman (plump Malay carrying a big haversack) bumped into me n walked on slowly. Did not immed suspect (big mistake) but instinct told me to check my bag. Realised my digicam was missing, n still went to check inner compartment thou i was quite sure i put it in outer compartment. Called out to my friend just a dist away n then saw a slit in my bag. Fren then said a woman brushed past her leg n picked up sth black (my cam pouch), but it was at night n she din see properly either. Moreover the woman's bag was open, so she assumed the woman dropped the thing. Overall a bad incident that could have been avoided but we were both too stunned.
Points to note that will make u less susceptible to pickpocketers:
1. Pickpocketters are usu NOT SOLO. The one that bumped into me IS NOT THE SAME ONE as the one that picked up the cam, cause me and my friend saw different women walking away in different directions. the former can walk away casually cuz she is NOT THE ONE with ur stuff!
2. DO NOT carry a cloth bag that can be easily slit (i was carrying lesportsac, dumb)
3. BEST DO NOT carry a bag at all. Stuff money, phone etc in ur pockets (tight around your legs). Bring MINIMAL
4. Beware of ANYONE that bumps into you or distracts you
6. DO NOT be alone at any point of time
7. Wear plain n conservative (tees n berms or jeans)
8. Never go after your shopping trip elsewhere. Chinatown at night has good atmosphere n bargains but go after a trip to the hotel to set down ur things
9. scream if ur instint tells u to! sounds dumb, but better be safe than sorry. the pickpocketers may be taken aback n drop the stuff or try to run, which we'll know to give chase. of course, if u meet a guy pickpocketer, not so wise. Afterall ur life is more important.
This is not meant to deter you from going Chinatown, but just be extra careful..i'm sadder at the loss of my photos stored inside than the loss of the camera! dun let it happen to u!
Handbag snatchers are quite rampant now. These petty criminals are getting more braver all the time. Usually, they operate in pairs, and mostly on fast speeding motorbikes; the driver will speed by very fast and the second guy will grab, viciously tug and even push the handbag owners. A few of the victims ended-up in hospitals. Usually the whole thing would happen so fast that no-one had time to re-act.
So, to all ladies, there is no point carrying and walking around on the streets with fancy beautiful handbags. Be extra careful when you carry a bagpack.
The biggest ( and invariably most crowded ) bus terminal, located in the city centre near Chinatown. Beware of pickpockets, ticket touts and other undesirables, especially late at night.
You're unlikely to be a victim of violent crime in KL, but pickpockets are common and bag snatching is on the rise. Keep a close eye on your valuables in crowds, especially street markets and public transport, and hold your bag on the side away from the street if there are motorbikes around.
Malaysian law requires that visitors carry their passport at all times, and both police and "Rela" volunteers carry out spot checks for illegal immigrants.
Pickpockets are bold in KL city, be alert while boarding public transport (bus, light rail, train...) there are eyes around you watching which pocket you put your valuables in. It is best to put your valuables in a zipped or deep pocket.
Try to avoid taking the public transport during rush hour (8am-9:30am; 6pm-7:30pm) because that is when the public transports get crowded and the pickpockets make their move
While boarding public transport, do be mindful of your bags as well. There are incidents where a snatch thief grabbed a passenger's bag just as the doors of the train was closing and ran off with it. The victim couldn't do anything as the train had already started moving.
So far only the KL monorail has guards stationed at the passenger platform.
1.NEVER CARRY MORE MONEY THAN RM 50 ( USD 10 )
2.USE A SLING BAG
3.CARRY MORE MONEY IN YOUR SHOES ( PUT IN YOUR SOCK )
4.ALWAYS WALK I A GROUP
5.FRIENDLY WITH OTHER MALAYSIAN
6.ALWAYS WALK COUNTER WISE
7.BEWARE WITH THE MOTORIST ESPECIALLY DOUBLE SEAT .
8.ALWAYS CHAIN YOUR WALLET TO YOUR BODY.
9.ALWAYS KEEP IN YOUR POCKET PEPPER SPRAY OR ANYTHING CAN IMMOBILIZED THE PICKPOCKET( USE WATER GUN WITH PEPPER POWDER )
LOCATION ; UNKNOWN URBAN AREA
Do beware of pickpockets everywhere you go. There are alot of pickpockets along Petaling Street, the so call Chinatown since the area is always pack with tourists.
Also do beware in any congested and pack jam area where everyone will start pushing their way through. The pickpocket likes this type of area.
Kuala Lumpur is a city infested with petty crime. If you are in the tourist areas of KL like Bukit Bintang, do be very careful when walking on the sidewalk next to the road. Ladies - do NOT carry a handbag with a long shoulder strap slung diagnonally across your chest. There are motorcycle snatch thieves who will drive past you, grab your handbag strap and yank away your handbag. You could sustain a nasty fall or worse, be dragged onto the oncoming traffic. Our local newspapers carry reports of such snatch thefts from time to time.
I'm sad to say that in a friendly country such as Malaysia, crimes do happen in the most vicious way. Many people, especially women and the elderly, have become victims of the notorious snatch thieves and ended up injured and for some even died. These crooks work in pairs on motorcycles, the pillion will snatch bags of unknowing victims off their shoulders or hands as they ride past them, causing injury as they fall and be dragged until the theives get hold of the bags. Be watchful as you walk by the roadsides and don't let your bags just hang over your shoulder. If possible, keep all valuables & cash in a pouch or in your pockets or wear a sling bag / backpack.
In KL for only 5 hrs, when our bag was snatched in broad daylight in peak traffic. After stopping at a bus stop (where 4 boys were sitting on their parked motor bikes) to buy water, hubby was near the curb for a few seconds when a guy dressed in all back, black helmet, on a black motorbike came from behind and snatched our bag (with our handycam, digital camera & other gear) from my his shoulder and sped off, leaving smoke behind and too fast to see number plate. It was too sudden and he was thrown off to the side of the road shocked and dumbfounded and I was screaming. People in traffic across the road saw it all happen and so did the guard (from a nearby car park). 5 seconds after this a guy on a bike stopped and said he was a plainclothes policeman and asked which way the thief went and sped off to follow him. The old guard told us the exact thing has happened at the same spot 4 times in the last 2 weeks ! The tourist police arrived and asked us questions and have apparently known this black spot andnot bothered to man it !!
They promptly drove us to the tourist police station. The woman constable on a power trip was least interested. Upon filling forms we realised that our mistake was "Walking with the traffic flow". The police officer sort of wrote the incident report on her own, when I tried to fill in, I was put in my place. We were shocked, angry and frustrated and scared of walking anywhere near the traffic after that.
We tried buying the same brand camera but they'd never heard of the "Ricoh. Interestingly, no shop had it except 1 which had a high end Ricoh camera which the store guy had no idea or sales pitch on. Anyway, the lesson here is "walk against the traffic flow, keep an eye on traffic, people etc", mind your wallet and valuables. I never thought it could happen to me and yet it did. I did one good thing - I had a money belt on my waist which was very helpful.
There were many reports of hand-bag snatching in the newspapers some months ago especially when the cases resulted in severe injury or death.
SO be careful, don't be too conspicuous !
I have witnessed a snatch robbery in broad daylight, when a pair of men on a motorcycle came from behind a couple and snatched the bag of the girl who was nearer the road ........ and they boy did nothing ......... too shocked and dumbfounded .........
Had my shoes nicked from the National Mosque so wear some old flip flops if you decide to go there, also had my rucksack stolen in Times Square which contained my camera, so we have no pictures from our whole holiday :-(
Be careful of some people who will try to make some kind of lovely dialogue with you and at som epoinjt they will to ask you to change some US dollars for them in local currency or other currency, may be you home currency after they know it.
The fact is those are fake Dollars, yes and it happened to me.