I was traveling around Europe with my family and despite umpteen warnings from close friends, i got pick pocketed in Amsterdam. Amsterdam was my last stop and i thought we were lucky that nothing happened throughout the entire trip. We were in a shoe shop (Sacha shoes) in Amsterdam and while my sister was trying out the shoes i was just sitting there with my bag behind me. There were quite a lot of people in the shop and i totally let my guard down. I was just sitting there waiting for my sister to be done. Until one of the girls working in the shop asked if the glove on the floor belonged to me. Bewildered, because i never used it and i remember keeping it in my bag. I realized my bag was left open and my wallet is gone. Everything happened in an instant and i didn't even feel anything. There was a woman trying on shoes sitting behind me and she kept getting closer to me but i moved away. I guess at that instant she could have already took my wallet and went away. Never let your guard down even if you're with family in a shop or walking along the streets or in a hotel. These crafty pick pockets are everywhere. I got to make a police report in Amsterdam but the shop keeper and the policemen said such things happen very frequently in Amsterdam. Whether in shops or restaurants and even hotel lobbies. You really got to be very careful, carry your bag in front of you, guard your things and always always be wary of the people around you. Too bad for me, it was gone.
In the time it took my beloved Prosperpina to raise her chipcard and swipe it while exiting the 2 tram, a pickpocket accessed her zipped and momentarilly not tightly clutched pocketbook and made off with her wallet and a pair of designer sunglasses. One swipe, two seconds, out the open door, and gone - an olympic class sprinter.
An immediate trip to the police station was a good idea - an attempt was made to use one of her two credit cards within hours of the theft. Fortunately, the kind and efficient desk officer personally called both credit card companies himself and put a hold on the cards, so no further damage.
Our official report was taken by a young female officer working overtime to process all the minor crimes of the day. Visibly exhausted, she spoke with us as she typed. It appears that the Amsterdam police will make no effort whatsoever to prevent minor tourist-oriented crime much less to apprehend the miscreants, all of whom are well known. There are simply not enough police officers nor hours in the day. Well aware, the assorted pickpockets are increasing their activities with no fear of arrest, much less punishment. Depressing, realistic. Forewarned for the future - no pocketbooks, no jewelry, no nothing.
Just got out of a small restaurant near by Gauchos Grillre around 7pm (Nearby Amsterdam Central) and some man claimed to be a Dutch came up behind me and my colleague yelling some racial slur (We are Asian). We tried to walked away when he started demanding money from us and threaten to have his people come after us if we do not cooperate. Luckily we were able to walked away without getting hurt. The person is white, around 5'10, skinny build and appears to be a bit drunk. People traveling in this area please be careful.
when i traveled around the city it looked safe although a lot of people told me to avoid small alleys and red light district area during the night.
Always watch your stuff , bag , wallet.
There a lot of crowded streets , Dam area , Shopping areas , markets , Red light district.
Like most of big cities, in Amsterdam there are pickpockets, they use to be near the main sites. Ámsterdam is not a dangerous city but if you need the police or you have an emergency dial 112 is the emergency number.
Como en la mayoría de grandes ciudades en Amsterdam también hay carteristas, suelen estar cerca de las principales atracciones turisticas. Si necesitas la policia o tienes emergencia solo tienes que marcar el 112 que es el num de emergencias.
There are Pickpockets! (also in the public transportation).
In the main shopping streets you are warned (see picture).
The top 5 pickpocket trics:
1) Cover. You will be surrounded by a group to cover the crime, using newspapers, coats etc. to cover the actual happening.
2) Broken glasses. Somebody drops glasses on the ground and steps on it. You will be accused and in the events that follow you will be pick-pocketed.
3) Back-to-Back. Very popular in Hamburger restaurants. While your coat is hanging on your chair and you finally start enjoying your food, the person that sits back-to-back with you starts his search.
4) Stain. Somebody stains your coat and offers to clean it. The moment you give your coat away..... well you get the picture.
5) Peeking at the ATM. Cover the keyboard when you punch in your pincode.
Besides these 5 there were cases people personating as fake policeman and asking for pasports and more.
Recent Amsterdam crimes map
A safer Amsterdam
Some time ago i was walking in the streets with my father and two cousins and suddenly a guy was asking me for directions and i just refused beacuse i noticed he wasn't a real tourist. My father told me not to be rude with him and i stopped walking when two other guys approched to us and told us they were police and aks us to show teh money we had in our pokets, so when one of them showed us his id i realized it was an french id ( by the time i was living in France) and told my relatives to show only the travelers cheques because they didn't speak english so i don't know what happened but they left and so we realized they were robbers and later i spoke with a police woman and told that it happens.We were lucky not to be robbed.So beware when someone asks you something and if you do see if there aren't others around observing you and ready to act when you are distracted.
Yeah. I agree! I have used the ATM machine in Amsterdam Central many many times and I never worried too much. There is always police around. But I think in general it is just common sense.
Cover your hand when you input your pin number. Take only what you need for a day or two and don't take too much. (like more than 150 euros). Don't count your money in the public place. Put your wallet in a safe place.
It is nicer to have smaller bills in Amsterdam than 50 euros bill as they always asked you whether you have smaller changes for your small purchase.
I think you need to be cautious in most tourist city. Most of the theft is coming from out of town/countries and they are gathered at the touristy area.
My friend's wallet was stolen while she was shopping in a souvenir shop and someone try to grab my friend's carry-on when he was taking the train from the airport to Amsterdam.
If you are driving into Amsterdam, be EXTREMELY cautious. Lock all doors even when in immediate vicinity, don't keep any valuables within easy reach or particularly in trunk.
I was there this past weekend, had just arrived in town, got out of van w/wife and children still in the car to walk one block to check a hotel. The area looked safe, was in full view next to a boat tour dock. My wife got out of car to rearrange some things in the back of the van, shut the trunk and got back in the car. As she was getting in the car, an asian person(my wife is asian, this is descriptive, not intended to be aiming at race) opened the trunk. My wife thought the trunk had not been thoroughly closed, got out of the car to tell him to leave. As she was trying to get him away, another person grabbed her purse out of the front seat. Fortunately passports were in a different location and fortunately I had more cash in my wallet than I usually do, but all credit cards were worthless and bulk of our cash was gone.
Police were extremely courteous, allowed us to cancel all credit cards from their phone. BUT, they were misinformed, telling us that there was an agency in Amsterdam that took care of people where this happens, helping with lodging and more. They got us to the agency, but all this agency will do for you is let you use the phone to contact someone to wire you money.
The warnings: The police advised me that there is a very sophisticated (and common) theft ring in Amsterdam aimed at travelers in vehicles. They can tell tourists based on license plates, will first go for the trunk of the car as this is where most people keep their valuables, plus they work in teams. They will routinely break out windows, etc. to get into vehicles. Keep all doors locked, all valuables in difficult to get to places, and park only in paid parking garages, etc. where there is security.
I have been in many countries and in many situations, so my internal radar is usually pretty tuned. Amsterdam caught me completely by surprise. I don't think there is a lot of violence, but this is one place where you better be ULTRA careful with protecting your critical documents, cash, etc. The sad part of all of this is that my six year old triplets have never had anything like this happen to them and it is something they won't forget.
Don't stand near a door of a tram (especially at the back) and get carried away with the scenery. My purse was stolen and they jumped out of the tram when the doors opened and fled. This is a very common occurence. I lived in Amsterdam for 10 years and on one of these occasions my passport was stolen
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