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Warning Bag Snatching at Lille Eurostar Station

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North Yorkshire
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Warning Bag Snatching at Lille Eurostar Station

We left the coach to board the train at Lille to go back to UK Sunday 14.07.13. Our tour guide who was handing out our train tickets had his bag stolen in seconds. We saw a man ran past I thought he was running for a taxi but after the men in our party gave chase it was to late as he ran off into a park area next to the station which was full of youths drinking and was very intimidating and was a maze. Our poor tour guide lost his notes that he had collected over years of hard work plus his house keys passport money etc. Apparently this happens all the time there and I must say when we arrived there were lots of men just hanging around it was so worrying. Why is there no security out there as this is clearly a problem they just watch the coaches come in and they are away. I thought the station was the pits no air con (it was like a hot house in there) and only a vending machine not like St. Pancras at all really slummy for a Eurostar station and I would never go to Lille or its station again thank goodness we were in Belgium all week. So please don't put a bag down for a second and keep hold of your cases at all time as this happened in a blink of an eye.

London, United...
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1. Re: Warning Bag Snatching at Lille Eurostar Station

I am sorry that this happened to you. I have been going to Lille ever since the Channel Tunnel opened, and have never had a problem at the Gare Lille Europe. There is security at the station, but I am not going to pretend that they can be everywhere all the time.

Did you report the incident? Whilst it is not much of a consolation after the event has happened, it at least makes the SNCF aware of what is going on, which helps in preventing future incidents.

Indeed I was also at the Gare Lille Europe last Sunday (to catch the 15:34 to London) and whilst it was busy I didn't notice any suspicious activity. Pickpockets target large railway stations all over the world, and if you look at the Trip Advisor Paris and Belgium forums, you can see that there are regular posts regarding crime and bag snatching at Brussels Midi and Paris Nord. (It is also an issue at Amsterdam Centraal and Berlin Hauptbahnhof)

Whilst there is only a vending machine in the waiting area once you are past security, there are plenty of facilities in the station itself, including a bar and a cafe.There is also a large shopping centre just outside, and plenty of bars within 5 minutes walk.

NZ
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2. Re: Warning Bag Snatching at Lille Eurostar Station

Surprising that it happened to a tour guide. I would have thought that with all that experience the guide would have had an over shoulder/neck bag for the valuables and be fully aware of all the issues.

While it can happen to anyone a guide would be the last person I would expect to let down their guard in a place that they have probably warned everyone else about.

London
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3. Re: Warning Bag Snatching at Lille Eurostar Station

I have also used Lille Europe several times and have never felt any particular need to be concerned. The risks are no greater than most major city stations. And for journeys from London to other parts of France it is great for changing trains, much easier than traipsing across Paris.

Also 14th July was a very hot day throughout Northern Europe - I dare say a lot of railway stations felt like 'hothouses' that day.

North Yorkshire
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4. Re: Warning Bag Snatching at Lille Eurostar Station

yes it was reported asap to security and to the police who came and took a statement. Our tour guide is a very experienced guide who is used to dealing with others with this problem and its a first for him and he has been all around the world with groups etc. It was so fast that I doubt anyone could have avoided it. When our guide was taken into a different area to fill out forms etc the staff there said this happens all the time my point is if that is so why is there not more of a security presence to give these thieves a deterrent as its not good for business. I have been on many a journey and at many train stations in and out of the UK but I have never felt so uncomfortable as at this station as I said in earlier post it was the same when we arrived 4 days earlier very intimidating. I was talking to my neighbour about what took place and she said the place has changed so much in the last 9 years and she totally agreed and said its very scary place to walk around in the daytime alone at night and she would not go back there. As for the station being a hot house yes I know there would be other places and stations that are the same but in a Eurostar station where you go threw passport control and then cant move i.e. go back outside open a window etc you would think in 2013 there would be air con.

London
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5. Re: Warning Bag Snatching at Lille Eurostar Station

Ah right, I understand your comment about the heat and the lounge.

Sadly, since the UK refuses to join the Schengen Area and remains paranoid about security, rail travellers to the UK will have to put up with being herded into such lounges instead of being able to use the main station facilities until the train arrives/is ready for boarding. It's one of my main gripes about Eurostar, their apathy around this issue (if I were Eurostar's CEO I would be lobbying hard for Schengen).

6. Re: Warning Bag Snatching at Lille Eurostar Station

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