Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bag stolen in Paris 1 week ago, where to get police help?

My bag been stolen with my phone, ipad, wallet, house & car keys inside at Paris Gare du Nord on 31/7/2013, around 8:30am. The French police is absolutely unhelpful and not care of your loss at all. It happened only 5 mins ago when I told a police officer nearby, my son saw the thief face and saw the direction he went but they were not interested in this at all. Only directed us to the Police station, as our train was leaving in 15mins, we were unable to log a complaint there. When we arrived at Brussel station, the lady officer said we should log in in Paris. And when we arrived back in UK and went to police station yesterday, the police officer said they same thing and asked me to go back to Paris to log the complaint. Isn't that a joke? I have no where to report the case!!! All these people not interest in I lost my driving licience that got all my personal detail on and maybe the loss of passport number (got the passport safe un luck!) Anyone know what should I do? Many thanks

First thing for future advice and anyone who may read this in the future:
When you travel you should NEVER put all of your documents, valuables and devices in the same bag!!! You have to divide them among your person that way if something like this happens to you it is not such a disastrous blow. This is the first thing I tell all of my readers when they are preparing for a trip to Paris. It seems dumb but think like a squirrel and protect your nuts!

I hate to say "you should've.." because now it is too late to look back on somethings but really when you find yourself in that sort of situation you should not have gotten onto your next train, you should have stayed and filed suit in Gare du Nord. Since I imagine that it happened on a platform between trains, with the bags in your possession the only jurisdiction is that of Paris so obviously you can't file any claim with the train company or your city of destination. So yes if you need to file a complaint for insurance you HAVE to do it in Paris. 

The truth of the matter and the reason that the police acted that way is because Gare du Nord is not a secure place of travel. It is just like any other public place in Paris and has tons of thefts everyday. You have to be careful; even more so at Gare du Nord than other gares in Paris because it is in this neighborhood where the largest pickpocket and crime rings are centered. Gare du Nord is also situated in a way that it is easy to disappear in seconds because of how open it is. Sadly because of all of these factors the police are desensitized to these crimes and have little to no sympathy because they see it every single day. 

It is sad to say but even if you did get the pity of the Police, which you wouldn't because basically the theft was under what they would conciser negligence unless someone physically attacked you in taking the bag from you, you wouldn't get very far in the way of justice. These criminals just disappear as fast as they can. They are so numerous and can't be properly identified even with a precise description, they are all the same, and almost always get off scot-free. If someone was not physically harmed or violated the police usually write a report to ease the victims insurance woes and then it gets chalked-up to statistics. 

The whole situation is awful and frustrating and I'm very sorry that it happened to you. I personally have dealt with the French Police system in a more severe situation and a few times where it wasn't so much and I can tell you in general it is aggravating. I have written a blog on how to deal with a stolen iphone in Paris (though obviously your case is a much heavier loss) Perhaps just reading about how to proceed and the correct language to use in your reports can help you some.

I hope that you find some solace in all this and at least that you were able to have a nice holiday before.

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