Pickpockets, Brussels

43 Reviews

  • Pickpockets
    by machomikemd
  • Pickpockets
    by machomikemd
  • Pickpockets
    by machomikemd

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  • Luggage Theft in Brussels

    by ms178 Written Mar 31, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was coming from the airport, planning on going to Maastricht ( I am a student at Maastricht University). I thought of taking the train, I asked for a schedule (in the Netherlands, when asked for a train schedule, the ticket officers will print out a schedule), but the guy said just one just one stop.. well i took his advice and got out at Brussels Nord.... I was hanging around at the platform trying to figure how to drag my big suitcase downstairs.. there was only this little stairs in front of me. So I walked further and I found big stairs.. While I was coming down I was approached by a guy, he said that there was shampoo at the back of my jacket. He was speaking French, I couldn't understand what he was saying, all i understood was shampoo.. i was distracted and tired, was trying to confront this guy.. suddenly another guy came out- out of nowhere- took my laptop bag, this other guy sprayed shampoo on my eyes! I lost basically my laptop, my wallet, my passport, resident permit.. just everything! I could not believe that it happened to me.. it was at 9 :40 AM!!! I panicked.. I kept on bouncing back and forth.. there was only two securities at Brussels North station just 2!!! they told me to go to Midi.. but when I reported to the police, I was shouted at and the policeman seemed annoyed unbelievable! I was robbed and this policemen seemed to care less... !!! I asked politely whether i could borrow 5 euro.. and he just said NO.. ! Luckily, I had my ticket to Maastricht in my jacket. I felt lost and just couldnt really describe what happened to me that day. Since the day I got robbed, I never step foot in Brussels..... I didnt like the way the securities, and the policeman were treating me. I called several times whether they found my stuff, they told me that when things get stolen they would be returned to the respective embassy! how would they know if that is my stuff!! do they just assume that is my things and send it to the Indonesian embassy...
    My advice to those who are travelling to Brussels and other places in Europe..
    Be aware of Pickpockets.. and keep an eye on your luggages, dont get distracted.. pickpockets and luggage theft do not only happen at night, but it could also happen in the morning or midday.....

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    People loitering around the Grand Plaza square

    by annase Updated Sep 9, 2007

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    Beware of people loitering around the square and offering to take a photo of you with your camera - especially if you are alone. You might lose it.

    There are of course lots of tourists as well as locals who are there for legitimate business, but you should be aware.

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  • Be attentive - and think twice!

    by obumex Updated Jun 4, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hey, I can say all the warnings in the above comments are right. Yesterday my bag was stolen in Brussels Central while taking a picture in a photo cabin. Now I was very lucky as nor my wallet nor my mobile were inside the bag. Event though it still was a bad thing: my favourite bag, my keys, a sweater, a jacket and my favourite scarf. Anyhow, I gave an item description at lost & found in brussels central and afterwards I went looking around in the neighbourhoud of the station. Because I guess if they don't find money they throw away the rest. And I found my bag in the park @ 'Kunstberg'. The bag, the keys, and a bit further the sweater also but apparently they took my jacket and the scarf :-( Don't understand it. Or maybe those are somewhere else lost in Brussels now. Anyhow it was a lesson again for me to be attentive and it could have ended much worse. So certainly check out as much places as you can after the stole something!

    By the way, I went to Brussels Midi to the 'lost & found' and the guy working there was absolutely horrible!!! The wrong guy at the wrong place! Very unfriendly, telling me he couldn't do anything and that I didn't have to hope to find something back! Almost didn't give me a paper to make an item description... Unbelievable...

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  • Beware!

    by usainbel Written Feb 27, 2007

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    I read all the previous warnings, but i feel you can not be warned enough. I was in the Brussels DMV(getting car plates) and in the space of 2 minutes had my mobile stollen out of my pocket. There are cameras in there and whoever took did it fast and slick enough that there is nothing obvious on the video! They are professionals here and you will not feel a thing.
    My friend had her purse taken off her childs stroller after getting off the train in Midi.
    I would highly suggest using Brussels North station if possible. It is usually less crowded and easier to navigate.
    Good luck to all!

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    Police on the Case

    by mackilt Written Dec 13, 2006

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    The Police are working undercover to fish out Pickpockets throughout the Christmas Markets. I was witness to them 'lifting' one who was frog marched to their van where he was soon whisked away.
    Top tips: Put your wallet in a zipped pocket preferably inside your jacket.
    : Keep Handbags close and closed.
    : Keep your eyes open if the Pickpocket see's you are watching out he will move onto someone less vigilant.
    Also noted kids handing over Cellphones to a character, maybe it was their dad, but why would he take the SIM card out in the middle of a crowded market?
    Be carefull but not everyone is a "Tea Leaf!" so enjoy as well.

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    Mind your purse/wallet!

    by qaminari Written Mar 30, 2006

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    Brussels may not be a big city but you need to pay attention as you would in any city: while muggings are rare, having your purse lifted is not at all uncommon. Be careful on the metro and also in shops with narrow aisles - try not to leave a purse (wallet) on top of a bag, even if it is zipped, it would be safer in your jacket pocket (not a back jeans pocket, of course!).

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    by Mariekebrussel Written Feb 6, 2006

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    I read all the tips above but you can't be warned too many times. A big gang of pickpockets operates in Brussels Midi. Please be very careful with your luggage don't leave it out of sight for one moment and be alert when a stranger asks you for something, its often a scam to distract you. I work at the station and its terrible to see how many thefts happen every single day. And PLEASE if you really have to carry a lot of cash around, carry it on your body and not in your handluggage, same thing for your passport. It happens in the station on the platforms and even in the train.

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    Train station thieves

    by swamom Written Jul 1, 2005

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    We were in Brussels Sunday, June 26, 2005, and 3 punk kids asked my husband a question, distracting him from his luggage and another one ran up, grabbed his rolling bag with tote attached and was gone.
    The police were extremely unconcerned. While filing our report, 2 other people came in with the exact same story, and all within 15 minutes.
    I think the biggest problem, except lack of security, are the type of escalators-like a moving sidewalks, but inclined to the next floor, so rolling luggage is fast to move, unlike taking it up regular escalator or stairs. We were told theyt go up, then down to the subway and gone.
    My advice is: Don't take your hands off your luggage for a second, keep personal items on you, or better yet, avoid Brussels. We had travelled from Stockholm, thru Denmark, and Germany on the trains and no other threats whatsoever.

    (There are no security cameras in the station and the man in Lost and Found said it "happens all the time")

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  • Marie-Claude's Profile Photo

    Professionnel pickpockets.

    by Marie-Claude Written Apr 29, 2004

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    The Best pickpockets are in Belgium ;) And the best policeman for it too. I never been robbed or approched. Watch your bag as in any other city. Maybe being more careful in big areas like the train station or metro would be a good idea.

    Pick Pocket

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Pickpockets, cash, cards, ATMs

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 28, 2003

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    Like in every (OK, almost every) European touristy city be aware of pickpockets in Brussels - especially watch your properties, esp. passport, bank cards and cash at crowded places.
    I didn't see any pickpockets in Brussels :-) and I thought that it was very safe place for visitors


    Before you leave:
    1. Write down (or/and put into your cell phone memory card) emergency numbers to financial institutions that issued your cards to be always ready to call them immediately when you lose your cards, make sure that the numbers work well from Brussels and store them at seperate, secure place;
    2. Scan key pages (with your photo, personal dates, visa) of your passport/identity card and/or driving licence ; store them at secure and seperate place,
    3. Lower your daily limits on your cards either for ATM cash and for electronic transactions (stores, restaurants etc.) to needed lever. Check whether you can change it (in emergency) by phone while you are in Brussels. Check whether your bank is responsible for illegal transactions made with your card (by a theft) before you report the loss of a card - buy such option (insurance) if possible,
    4. Remember your cards' PIN numbers (if possible hehe, if not - write them down and store far away from your cards in secure place, better use your own code - multiply or divide numbers or so).

    When you are in Brussels:
    1. ALWAYS keep your cash and credit/debit cards close to your body (comfortable belts or any very unusual place for your purse or wallet recommended :-),
    2. never carry all of your cash or cards/traveller's cheques at one place,
    3. never, never carry with you your PIN numbers written down, esp. with your credit cards,
    4. have your card ready - avoid having to go through your wallet or purse to find your card - and make sure that nobody can see you entering your PIN or transaction amount! You must always see when your card is when you pay in a store, restaurant etc.

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  • Ronald_T's Profile Photo

    Brussels (centre) is one of...

    by Ronald_T Written Sep 12, 2002

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    Brussels (centre) is one of the safest cities in Europe. Crime is generally property-related and non-violent. However, as in almost any city this size, petty theft is a problem. Travellers should be especially vigilant at crowded tourist attractions and when using the Metro system; pickpockets are frequent at the Brouckere and Rogier stations. At night, take common sense precautions and steer clear of the Botanical Gardens and the Westward Arc between Midi and North train stations. Auto theft/break-ins are common. Do not leave valuables in automobiles and use parking garages when possible.

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    by pieter_jan_v Written Aug 10, 2014

    As in all major cities pickpockets are active at Brussels.

    Be aware they operate in busy spots in and around stations and at the center city attractions (like Manneken Pis).

    Pickpockets  - Brussels Pickpockets  - Brussels
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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Beware of Pickpockets.

    by keeweechic Updated Sep 15, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Beware of Pickpockets . My father on his European trip, had his wallet taken while wandering around with his tour group in Brussels.

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Comments (2)

  • Mar 28, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Be Aware of Mcdonad's.....We visited Brussels on 05 March 2015. In front of CCTV a thief taken our bag while we were busy with taking burger. We lost 15000 dollars. Macdonals authority did not do anything in that incidence. shame on them .. even police didnt want to take the report....Unfortunately. we feel proud of europe. I think it is disgusting. They cannot give security to tourist. Shame on them. The behavior of police and Macdonad's authority were suspicious and I am sure that they are in connection with this thief case. So please do not visit Brussels unless it is required urgently. Or take your money and passport in such a place inside your body so that no body can take without killing you. Thanks

    • Apr 11, 2015 at 9:19 PM

      Dear , Good Day. What do you mean by this "CCTV cameras are in place they are for the security of the restaurant, hotel or whatever..not for the security of customers". From where you have got this idea? If a terrorist come to restaurant and fire on the customer then you will also tell the same things because they didn't harm to the restaurant. Think about yourself and put yourself in the place of Customer and then reply. Don't say for the sake of saying something. "I suspect it is exactly the same elsewhere, including in your own country" I can give you guaranty that in my country it will not happen like this shorts of restaurant and even happen then police would come and took the CCTV footage and could find out the culprit within short time. You know that Police dint take any action in this regard. You are finding out my fault but not McDonald's and police. Yes tourist might have some fault but even then ; can you avoid the responsibilities of McDonald's and Police? You want give the authorities to thief to continue this activities for others in future ? This case happened in the MacDonald number of time before. So why they are not finding some measure to stop it. If you do not stop small thing then it will lead to a big accident. And again my country is not developed like Belgium then why it will be like that. My dear .. you need also further study to advocate in favor of McDonald's. However, you are a very interesting person. May I know your identity and level of your education please. Send me photo I would like to see you. We can discuss on this issue further for the security of the humanity. Thanks once again for quick reply. My face book address is drpapri2001@yahoo.com

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Apr 11, 2015 at 11:33 PM

      I am not interested in continuing this conversation any further.

  • Mar 28, 2015 at 9:28 AM


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