Bag Snatching In Broad Daylight: Vientiane

Last Thursday afternoon a thief was apprehended by local residents after snatching a bag from female cyclists in Phonsinuan village, Vientiane (near Thai Consulate and Pizza Company 2).

Two man on a motorbike snatched a bag from two female cyclists, insuring one of the vicitms by knocking her off the bicycle. During the theft the driver lost control over his vehicle and crashed himself. While his accomplice escaped, several onlookers managed to detain the driver, a 21-year-old man. On Facebook clips can be seen showing the onlookers detaining the thief.

According to an article in Vientiane Times, officials have confirmed that such bag snatchings are happening on an almost daily basis in Vientiane.

Here are some tips on how to handle handbags to avoid snatch theft cases as much as possible:

1. Leave your purse at home. Carry necessary items (ID and money) in a wallet, tucked safely in your pocket. If you don’t have pockets and/or there are additional items you prefer to carry, such as makeup, keys, and a phone, consider putting them in a bag that wraps around your stomach and can be hidden from view, or a backpack strapped around both shoulders so that it can’t easily be snatched.

2. Bring only what you need. Don’t carry any more cash or credit cards than you absolutely need to do your shopping that day. Usually, one credit card is enough, and you should have the customer service number written down somewhere so that you can report the card stolen immediately if your purse is snatched. Decide even before leaving the house whether the contents of your purse are worth getting hurt for.

3. When walking along the streets, wear your handbag on the arm that is away from the traffic. A lot of snatch thefts occur when motorists find an easy target who has her handbag on the side that’s facing the street where it’s just an arm’s length to grab at it. It makes it harder for a passing vehicle to grab a bag that is on the inner side of the road, don’t you think?

4. Try not to carry or wear your bag by slinging the handbag straps across your body. Many people used to advise that this is the best way to protect your bag from being snatched off, but this has proven to be a bad idea in many other cases. If a thief tugs at your bag and yanks at it, you’re likely to fall and suffer injuries instead of being able to win at a tug of war with him!

5. If you are being mugged, do not struggle and just give your belongings up.  If your bag is being snatched, whether by a culprit on foot or in a vehicle, remember to just let it go and not hold on to it. You don’t want to be dragged on the streets. Many women who have fought back or refused to let go of the bag have suffered some injuries inflicted by the culprits. Some unlucky ones have been killed.

If you are faced with a thief demanding for your bag, quickly throw your bag as far away as you can in one direction and you immediately run in the opposite direction, and scream for help too. The thief is more likely to go after your bag than you. But run as fast as you can and not wait for him to grab your bag and come back at you!

 Keep in mind: Whatever that’s in your bag can’t be worth your life !