Posted by: nancycurteman | September 14, 2010

The Paris Metro Menace

The Paris metro is a great way to travel from place to place in the City of Light however, there is a nasty Metro Menace that can destroy your visit to France. Pickpockets! Warning signs are posted everywhere. There are frequent loudspeaker announcements cautioning riders to mind their purses and wallets. I nearly became a victim of a pickpocket on Metro Line 4 near the Strasbourg St-Denis station. The car was very crowded due to a temporary slow-down strike by operators. People were crammed body to body. I was facing a man who kept coughing right in my face. I turned my head to avoid catching whatever he had. When we came to our stop, I moved quickly to the exit door and jumped off the train. It was then that my wallet almost tumbled out of my fanny pack. The coughing man had unzipped two compartments searching for my wallet. A few more seconds and he would have had it in his thieving little hands. I felt violated, but I also learned a great lesson. I realized that even I could be a victim. In fact, there are all kinds of ploys pickpockets use to distract potential targets. Be cautious when you travel in the beautiful city of Paris. Don’t become a victim of the ugly Metro Menace.


  1. I’ll keep this in mind next time I’m in Paris. ))

    Actually, Nancy, it might be interesting to collect stories from people who have had their pockets picked… to establish a list of what to watch for. Nobody wants to have someone cough in their face, for example…



  2. Distractions are what they are, which makes it difficult to protect oneself. Thieves sometimes work in groups so that a distraction may be orchestrated and carried out by others while the thief picks his best moment to strike. Thank you for sharing your experience. Coughing in your face was effective. It made you turn your head and focus all your thoughts on protecting your health while he tried to grab your wallet. You were blessed to come out still possessing your wallet.


  3. Jostling crowds are always targets. I have had my pocket (purse, back pack – picked a couple of times in crowds. The cough-in-your face bit is a new one though. Thanks for cluing us in.


  4. A friend and I were on the Metro some years ago and he was pleasantly surprised that an attractive young woman was rubbing up against him in the densely packed car—until he figured out why.


  5. Eww . . . to the coughing, the pickpockets, the press of humanity rubbing up against metro riders.

    I think I’ll rent a bicycle. LOL


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