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When you travel, watch out for the thieves. Travel theft is a rotten thing to deal with, whether you are on a vacation or a working trip.
I had my personal belongings, family documents and valuables stolen while taking a break with my family in a fast food joint. Just 2 hours away from our train journey home.

That caused us sleepless nights as our passports, my cards and other important document were in there.

Thankfully the police were very helpful. I was the 3rd victim in that fast food joint that night.

My primary concern was our Lost travel documents how could we get home? The police and embassy (high comm) helped us get the temporary travel documents we needed. With the police report, and travel documents, we made it home.

My visa was also in that stolen bag. The first thing I did once I got to the police station was to call my credit card company to get it cancelled. To call back home from a foreign country requires the country code before the regular number. I did not know what code to dial, so the police gave me the telephone operator’s number. The operator put me through to my home telephone operators which got me through to my bank.

Together with those were all my other bank documents, check books and other personal documents.

For lost check books, a stop check order has to be placed immediately on all the remaining checks in that book. Banks charge extra from that.

Lost bank cards have to be reported immediately to prevent abuse.

Lost bank books have to be cancelled immediately.

The respective banks have to be notified to protect your money. Also, if the thief tries to use any of these documents, he or she will get caught red handed by the relevant authorities.

Lost personal documents have to be replaced at the relevant authorities.

Basically, it is a complete hassle and total nightmare that wrecked our vacation.

Common travel theft

I lost my belongings in K.L. The police there and here gave me some advice.

I must say, throughout the episode, the police on both sides as well as the embassy were incredibly helpful and should be commended for their assistance.

This is a common problem faced wherever you go. The police have seen so many cases of people coming back to report theft in countries from all over the world. Police from both sides gave me some advice.

Snatch thefts are common. The victim is walking along the road and the thief rides by on a motorbike, grabs the bag and rides away.

Or the victim may be shopping in a mall when the thief grabs the bag and runs with it.

Or there could be robbery at knife point.

The policeman advised that if you carry a hand bag, sling it across your shoulder.

There are the pickpockets who steal your wallet so discreetly, you are not aware until it is too late.

There are those that cut the strap of your bag while you are unaware and make off with your wallet.

Often, thieves target travelers who are from foreign countries. If you are of the same race as the people in the country you are visiting, and speak their language, chances are, they are less likely to target you. Try to blend in with the people there.

Often, they target hotels, transit points or places where travelers frequent. There was a case where someone put down her bag to pick up a plate of food at a buffet. In that instant, her bag was stolen.

In another case, a traveler was checking in to a hotel. The exhausted traveler put down his bags for a moment and they were gone.

If you are with kids that run all over the place, all the more, you are an easy target for thieves.

The policeman advised me to keep my personal documents and bank documents at home always. When out with kids, do not bring any personal documents unless absolutely necessary.

My husband always tells me that when traveling, you only need 3 things. Your passport, your visa and hard cash in the local currency. Passport and visa to be worn around your neck under clothing. Local currency in your wallet. Never ever let your luggage out of your sight.

Nowadays, nowhere is safe.

Theft happens everywhere. It’s doubly nasty when you are in a foreign country when it happens.