Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Anvers Gang

I was pick-pocketed by a gang of child thieves in our nearest metro station, Anvers, yesterday. Chris was carrying Fiona, and I had my purse slung across my body with the collapsed umbrella stroller in my hands. As the doors to the subway car opened, Chris stepped inside, and as I followed a step behind, I felt a tug on my purse. I whipped around and saw my purse unzipped and my wallet gone. I yelled for Chris to get off the subway, and several bystanders pointed at a group of three boys (around 8 years old) and two older girls darting away. Luckily, a group of people helped us round up the kids, and we essentially shook down the boys. After much adamant head-shaking on their part and holding open their pants to show us they hadn't stuffed it there, my wallet magically appeared under a nearby bench (luckily with nothing missing). A man with three children of his own called the police and forcibly escorted one of the boys and the two girls to the ticketing area of the subway station (the other two boys ran off) to wait for the police. This man from Turkey and another man from Pakistan lectured the kids non-stop in French until the police arrived, and from the hand-gesturing, we could tell that the man from Turkey was saying that where he came from, hands are chopped off for these sorts of offenses. I had to go with the police to a nearby station to file a report, and one officer told me that the laws in France are such that the kids will not be punished for stealing and would be released within a couple hours. He told me in a frustrated voice that this same band of kids had been rounded up and brought to the police station four out of the five previous days. In addition, another group of pick-pocketing kids stole the wallet of an Indonesian woman who was carrying around 10,000 Euros in cash. The particular band of kids that filched my wallet was composed of Romanians and Bosnians, the officer told me.
The kicker to this entire story is that Chris and I used the Anvers subway station today, and the little band of ruffians was in the exact same spot as yesterday. The boys saw us, waved, smiled mischievously, then motioned for me to hold my purse tightly. Chris and I laughed about the situation for much of our subway ride and figured we should try to befriend them during the rest of our stay here in Paris. Who knows? Maybe there will be a part 2 of this story in a few weeks.


Blogger The Charlebois said...

That is crazy! Those rascals! And what an experience. I guess you will be clutching that bag a little more tightly the next few weeks. :) Glad you got it back and all is well.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Jes said...

What?!? Craziness.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Jes said...

What?!? Craziness!

2:13 PM  

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