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Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

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2 reviews
Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

Are zip or buttoned pant pockets safe from the pickpockets? I have pants with these front and back, and down the side of the pants. Also, any opinions about whether or not it's a good idea to have a little Canadian flag pin on my purse/bag/lapel? Thanks so much for your help!!

San Diego
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for San Diego
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1. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

NO! and NO! Why would it be a good idea to have a Canadian flag on your purse?? I don't see the point one way or another.

A zipper is very easy for a skilled pickpocket to open!

To keep valuables safe they have to be under your control. You can have a bag that you keep across your body with your hand on it OR in a neck wallet or money belt. The main thing is to be aware of your surroundings and not to assume that a button or a zipper will be enough!

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2. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

The pockets in cargo pants (sounds similar in some ways to yours) are easy picking - they send in short guys in good looking suits to get at them on the metro, etc. Is the Canadian flag to show you are from a more civilized country? The pickpockets won't care and this further identifies you as a tourist, not that you can disguise it anyway. Probably the best way is a neck wallet that goes down inside the shirt or a belt that goes under your clothes.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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3. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

Definitely there is no reason to leave a Canadian identifier on any part of your or your belongings. You might still look like a tourist anyway but there is no need to let everyone know that.

The best way to prevent theft is to protect yourself and not give any opportunities. That means not putting your valuables in easily accessible places such as backpacks and fanny packs. Zipped/button pockets won't deter thieves if you are not careful. You can put somethings in there for convenience but not your entire stash.

Castellina in...
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3,454 posts
18 reviews
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4. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

No, pant pockets are usually too loose and hence easy to open for gypsy kids working under a piece of cardboard or professionals using a razor blade. There are some good tips on this subject here: www.bella-toscana.com/pickpocketsinitaly.htm Basically you need to stash your daily cash allowance in a moneybelt or pouch inside your clothing.

Pickpockets don't care which country you come from - they are looking for easy pickings. The blind, elderly or disabled suit them best, but unprepared tourists come next on the list.

san francisco
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30 reviews
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5. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

Hi onmyway. Just use good sense and stay away from the same kinds of situations that you would in Canada and you will be fine. It is not like pickpockets are on every corner. They do exist like they do in every major city including San Francisco where my son got pickpocketed, but on many many trips to Rome nothing like that happened to anyone in our family.

I did once stay in a B & B in Rome some years back with a couple who were pickpocketed on a bus in Rome. I am very careful on mass transit there. I don't wear all the usual travel armorment: the money belt (I hate them), the special pickpocket purses (I hate them) but I do hold my bag close and only carry the cash I need for the day around with me, just what I can afford to lose, so to speak.

I do not take the metro or the bus with a lot of luggage. I use a taxi for that.

I have been out on the streets of Rome until dawn and I must say I would be very hesitant to do that in San Francisco, New York or Miami.

I don't quite get the meaning of wearing a Canadian Flag pin. Is Canada broke? I had a friend who when he went to Italy carried all his goods in an old plastic bag so he would look like a bum and no one would rob him. What a hoot!!!

Norwich, United...
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6. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

Even if it only takes a few extra seconds to open a zip or buttoned pocket, that's still a little longer you'd have to notice what's going on. No substitute for staying aware however - but every little helps?

It also may go some way to prevent stuff simply falling out of your pockets, to which you rarely see anyone admit.... Lots of victims of unnoticed pickpockets, but no one's ever just careless - even though there are lost property offices everywhere!

I'll send you a separate note re that pin - however in much of the country your nation is well thought of, thanks to these little beauties, whose name has passed into the language here - and without whom most of the Mediterranean lands would look very different....


Even right up in the north they're already hard at it...



Level Contributor
3,852 posts
4 reviews
35 helpful votes
7. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

My travel slacks have a zippered pocket INSIDE a regular pocket. I keep enough cash for the day and my atm card there and feel that it provides more security. It may not be as secure as a money belt worn under your clothes but it's a lot more convenient. I don't think about the pickpockets unless I'm in a crowded situation like mass transit or walking along the congested pedestrian corridor.

The key is to never take more with you than you need and have backup cash and cards in a secure place at your lodgings.

I never, never, ever take a wallet with me when sight-seeing.

Le Marche, Italy
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8. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

The best strategy is to stay alert and not to look wealthy. Most Italians wouldn't recognize the Canadian flag and a Canadian-owned Rolex is just as tempting as any other. I knew a man who was American, married to a Canadian, who was convinced that it was wise to wear a Canadian flag in Europe. I told him that Europeans thought it was a marijuana flag.

Rome, Italy
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9. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?

Just a note that i've had a camera taken from my zipped-closed purse, on a bus here in Rome. I guess the point here is nothing is ever totally safe...so take this good advice mentioned above regarding having backup cash and cards etc elsewhere just in case something goes missing!

It might be overboard but also, I scan photocopies of documents and save them in my email somewhere...so if need be I can always print something out.

Level Contributor
3,852 posts
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10. Re: Are zip pant pockets safe from the pickpockets?


I don't think that that's "overboard". We photocopy all our credit/atm cards (front and back) and passports and leave a copy with family as a back up. Also, we have found that some hotels are willing to take the photo copy of our passports for their purposes at check-in rather than having to leave your original with them.