Make Your Pockets Virtually Theft-Proof

Make Your Pockets Virtually Theft-Proof

Whether you’re in an unfamiliar city or just paranoid, worrying about your wallet being stolen by a sneaky pickpocket isn’t uncommon.Even if the chances are slim, getting stranded in a foreign place can be scary and troublesome. How-to illustrator Yumi Sakugawa offers up an info-comic with plenty of helpful suggestions to make your pockets essentially theft-proof.

Take the time to make yourself a decoy wallet. Use your money belt-just be sure not to take out your money belt, which defeats the purpose of having a concealed wallet beneath your clothes. Use basic common sense, such as not advertising your fancy video equipment or leaving things unattended. Last but not least, avoid thumbing through your dog-eared copy of Lonely Planet in crowded public places as much as possible. I know, easier said than done.

A lot of this is a combination of common sense and some careful tactics to disguise your valuables. It may seems annoying to have to go through a lot of trouble just to avoid the possibility of theft, but try to think of it like you’re on a secret agent mission. You’re hiding the important things you carry. The fate of the world may not rest on your shoulders, but that might be a good place to hide a credit card or two.

How to Pickpocket-Proof Yourself from Thieving Hands [Secret Tips from the Yumiverse]


  • This looks very clear and helpful. Two other things to remember are
    > If you have a backpack on your back it’s important to have it on both shoulders to avoid drive-by bag snatchers.
    > Always have a good look around before leaving a cafe, restaurant etc. You’re a lot more likely to forget something than have it stolen.

    • Wear shoulder bags on the side away from the road when walking on the footpath to avoid the same.
      Don’t walk down lane ways and alleys unless you are in Melbourne looking for a coffee shop.
      Some places are safer than others.
      Do as the locals. I wouldn’t bother with making plans in public (no lonely planet), make them before leaving your accommodation for the day. Memorise as much about the public transport system as you can to have a backup plan to get back.
      Register with smart traveller.

  • I have these jeans which aren’t skinny jeans or anything, but for some reason the pockets are really tight. I found this annoying at first, but they turned out to be great for overseas holidays. I would like to see someone try and pickpocket my wallet out of them, I have enough trouble putting it in and out as it is. Also for more hotter countries, I have some shorts which have button up pockets. Perfect for markets or whatever, you don’t have to walk everywhere with your hands in your pocket!

  • The simple act of keeping my wallet in my front pocket instead of back has helped me avoid being pick pocketed on several occasions, both while travelling and while at home.

    Once in a touristy bar in Paris I felt peoples fingers in my back pocket three times in the space of 15 minutes.

  • I feel that if you’re ever in a mugging situation, don’t even take the chance of a decoy wallet or trying to fool them. Just give them your wallet, give them whatever the hell you want. Unless your wallet holds an actual human being in it, it’s not worth it.

  • One good tip that I’ve followed to avoid looking so obviously like a tourist is to put the dustcover from another book over the top of your lonely planet or other guide book. This way, you can look through the book on the bus, at a restaurant, or on a park bench, and it just looks like you’re reading a novel.

  • Develop a keen awareness of what’s going on around you, and where people are in relation to you – I call it spacial awareness. Avoidance is easier than prevention, and if you dress and behave so that you don’t stand out, then the locals will notice you less than the obvious ‘mark’.

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