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Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

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Singapore
posts: 453
reviews: 3
Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

Just to let you know .

On Saturday at 8am on a bright sunny day I had my camera stolen just opposite Diamond Plaza . The first attempt was two guys on a motorbike grabbed the strap and tried to rip the camera from my hands. Luckily the strap broke . I thought thank god that was a lucky escape but as I was taking photographs later my the Notre Dame church they came again and this time ripped the camera from my hands midshot.

My 7d and beloved 24-70 L lens both gone forever.

I would advise all of you to be very careful when taking pictures photos in district 1 especially when you are by the roadside near any motorbikes.

Edited: 9:46 pm, March 18, 2012
pacific palms
Destination Expert
for Mui Ne
posts: 7,105
reviews: 33
41. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

Molly your point is correct. When travelling in SE Asia or any other 3rd world country it is always wise not to display your wealth or luxury items. I know its difficult with cameras but everyone should be mindful of the situation they are in, and try not to provoke opportunities.

Ross

NJ
posts: 143
reviews: 31
42. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

Is the rest of Vietnam as dangerous for photographers as HCMC? I'm starting to think we should skip HCMC altogether. Is it any safer to leave your camera at the hotel, or will they break into the safe? What about leaving it at the front desk if there is no in-room safe - has anyone had any problems with that?

Nha Trang, Vietnam
posts: 5,956
reviews: 30
43. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

I always leave my gear in the hotel. It's insured, so what the heck. I'm not going to hire a security guard, right? And taking a less expensive equipment kind of defeats the purpose of taking pictures. The point being that if all you want is to take snapshots, by all means, leave the DSLRExpensive at home. If you are into photography, bring it.

But be mindful of how you handle yourself and your belongings in open spaces and in crowded areas, both of which define HCMC well.

I've lost count of all the times I've watched people curbside holding out their point&shoot thingies in front of them trying to frame a shot by looking at the LCD. Any idiot on a bike could have grabbed the thing.

Lincoln, United...
posts: 7,362
reviews: 32
44. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

lalagirl123

Is the rest of Vietnam as dangerous for photographers as HCMC? I'm starting to think we should skip HCMC altogether. Is it any safer to leave your camera at the hotel, or will they break into the safe? What about leaving it at the front desk if there is no in-room safe - has anyone had any problems with that?

-----------

If you're going to start leaving it in the safe, what's the point of taking it. Yes, HCMC might have a slight problem, overstated IMHO. Everyday I was there, I was out with my bridge camera taking shots. Yes, I was careful as to how I held the thing, double loop around the wrist so that there is virtually no strap to grab hold of and when not in use, into the small rucksack, that was my constant companion, it would go. And just to get a sense of proportion. You'd think London was a fairly safe place to go holding your mobile....... www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-21018569 think again! HCMC is no different. Dangle a carrot in front of a donkey and it'll come a running! As for the whole of Vietnam being the same, probably, but then I didn't have any problems there either.

Ho Chi Minh City...
posts: 669
45. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

It is funny to watch out and shoot at the same time eh? One of the good points of traveling with a group is that you can watch out for each other. Saigon police is running a campaign to sweep street thieves. It is important to take cautions but do not worry too much.

Cologne, Germany
posts: 731
reviews: 34
46. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

I'm an enthusiastic photographer, especially when traveling. I traveled the last 20 years with lots of equipment and nothing ever was stolen, good luck. I was a bit worried in Rio de Janeiro and have seen many cameras being stolen in European cities, it is always a risk. With a pro equipment you walk around with thousands of $ worth on a strap and everybody will see it.

The precautions I do are being very alert all the time, having an insurance, backing up the photos every day and taking at least two cameras. And I don't attract attention with a DSLR in few situations like on night trains.

London, United...
posts: 25
reviews: 17
47. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

Just wanted to give another perspective on Vietnam from a couple that cycled from Bangkok, through Cambodia to Saigon then up to Hanoi.....it's safe if you're careful (not accusing Expat of being careless by the way!) I feel very bad for him, having your camera stolen must be terrible and was one of our greatest fears.

We've been documenting our travels around the world on our blog (same as our username) and without the camera and laptop we'd be stuffed. I am dreading the day it happens as mathematically it seems it should! However we take a lot of precautions:

1) Always have straps wrapped around your wrist and at the slightest feel of a tug, drop to the floor - it's very difficult to snatch something attached to 60-110kgs of dead weight. It'll hurt your shoulder or wrist perhaps, but might well save your belongings/memories

2) If you have stuff in your backpack, put a tiny padlock on the zipper handles.....this isn't perfect and can be annoying, but if you have valuables and aren't going to access them, it will slow a thief down, which is all you really need (there is an argument it advertises them, but I think most thieves ready to try it on, will do so anyway)

3) Never pack your valuables in your luggage on a plane/bus/train.....always keep them in your hand luggage.

Finally, if you're with someone in Asia, get them to stand between you and others when taking photos....this sounds very (almost horribly) paranoid, but as we all know, somehow the bad things always happen to "me", whoever "me" is!

We made it through Asia without any loss of equipment, from laptops to cameras or ipod/speakers/headphones.....thank goodness!

Ho Chi Minh City...
posts: 1
48. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

Hi this is Alwyn from India. I had visit to Ho chi Minh city on 18.05.2013. I experienced inccident of chain snaching by this road side bikers in broad day light. I was walking on foot path along with my freind near Saigon Holtel., District 1. Suddenly a road side biker snached gold chain from neck & run away. i could'nt note the bike number. These road side bikers are very dangerous in Ho chi Minh city! Beware of these thiefs!

Nha Trang, Vietnam
posts: 5,956
reviews: 30
49. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

I was in Saigon yesterday. Right in front of the Sheraton something (didn't see what) was snatched from a tourist by someone on foot. A local woman told me that this is becoming a real pest in HCMC.

Perth, Australia
posts: 6
50. Re: Warning 2: Road side motorbike snatch thief.....

Amazing photos expat - so sad you lost your camera.