Thieves target tourists

Senior Airman Waylon Klutts
435th Security Forces Squadron

People traveling to eastern Europe this spring should be aware of pickpockets and car thieves.
Two servicemembers on trips to Poland had their personally owned vehicles stolen this year. In addition, eight servicemembers were robbed in the Czech Republic and other neighboring countries.
The 435th Security Forces Squadron offers these tips to help prevent theft while traveling.
• People should carry wallets or checkbooks in front pockets instead of back pockets. It is an effective way to prevent pick-pocketing. A rubber band tied several times around a wallet can increase friction and make pick-pocketing easier to notice.
• A good purse is one with a flap that folds over the opening, fastens at the bottom, and has an interior zipper. Purses should be carried close to the body, possibly under an exterior garment.
• Flaps should be secured and turned toward the body.
• When sitting down, remember to keep purses, backpacks, shopping bags, packages, and other belongings in the lap, on the arm, or between the feet. Never leave anything on an empty seat or a shop counter and turn away.
• Never leave a car running unattended, or keys in the ignition without being behind the wheel.
• Always roll up windows and lock the car, even in front of a home.
• Lock the car while driving.
• Never leave valuables in plain view, even if the car is locked. Place these in the trunk before leaving home.
• Always park in well lit areas.
• Carry registration and insurance card. Don’t leave personal identification documents or credit cards in a vehicle. Copy the car license plate and vehicle identification number to keep with a driver’s license. If a vehicle is stolen, Security Forces will need this information promptly.