Gassed !!!!!!

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Pikey Pete, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Pikey Pete

    Pikey Pete Read Only Funster

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    Thought that might get your attention.
    No I wasn't gassed but I was robbed.
    Stopped on the services on the A75 near Millau ( Where the bridge is ) and some one broke into the van via the passenger door while I slept.
    Now I'm stuck here with no money, and no cards to get any with. Spent most of the morning at the local Police station, where their English was the same as my French, hopeless.
    Camping Cote-Sud in Millau have let me on their site knowing I have no money and the young lady on reception has helped me with translations and even written me a letter in French explaining my situation that I have taken to the bank. Needless to say, the bank can't help.

    These thieves are good at what they do, they forced the lock with a screwdriver or similar and got into the van without waking me. They could have had away with my passport, iPhone, TomTom and PDA, which were all in the cab, but fortunately they didn't. Think they tried to get the TomTom off the Brodit bracket and have damaged it so it wont connect to the PC.
    The first I knew about it was a rocking motion which woke me and I just managed to see the car drive away, so maybe I disturbed them by starting to wake up.

    That is the first time I have ever left my wallet in the cab area but was dog tired after driving up from Almeria, and forgot to put it under my pillow.

    Almost 2 years bumming around Europe, shrugging off the thought of them catching me out. I let my guard slip once and Bingo, they got me.:cry:

    Pete not so :Cool: now.

    And I still haven't seen the bridge:Angry:
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  2. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Sorry to hear this, the more I hear about people entering as we sleep the more maybe we were not gassed as the Spanish Police suggested to us.

    Still don't know how they got over Bruno though:Doh:

    Fancy meeting him as you prize open the door (done same as you screwdriver at the bottom of the door of my caravan)
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Ha, ha.
     
  4. theresa

    theresa Read Only Funster

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    oh god so sorry to hear about your robbery . same thing happened to us near Narbonne . we had some english money in the van which they did not take ,so was able to get it changed , we lost cars , money , passports, and driving license . hope you get sorted out . at least you are safe thats the main thing :Angry:
     
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    What a bummer. You are right it is so easy to break in via a lock whilst we sleep. Indoor deadlocks are a big help here. The Motorhome Security Handbook discusses the issue of losing everything when you are away. Anyone can become a victim of crime but there is a lot we can do to limit the consequences.

    Essentially, you should always split your cash and cards between you the motorhome and a partner if you travel with one. Before you leave on a trip you should stash a Credit card in the motorhome, hide where it will not be found, think about using a screwdriver, scissors, tape and or cunning to gain access to a devious hiding place.

    When on the street, split the cards and cash between you a partner and the motorhome, if on your own between you and the motorhome. Should you then suffer a loss it should not be catastrophic. When everyone is together in the motorhome, NEVER leave anything of value in the cab, (apart from a mugs wallet maybe). Your valuables should be split up inside the motorhome.

    from the Motorhome Security Handbook
    In your motorhome have a really fat mugs wallet. Make sure that it cannot be seen from the outside, but it should be in plain view as soon as a thief is inside. Because you do not have to carry this one on your person you can make this wallet even fatter and more tempting than the muggers wallet you might carry; for example; £30 or £40 in Euro’s in the lowest denomination notes and include old petrol receipts etc, mine has even have some old Pesetas in it, worthless but it looks good. If a crook gets inside your motorhome he will have adrenaline and be looking to steal something as quickly as he can and then escape. When he sees your nice fat mugs wallet the chances are he will just grab that and run. That's the plan anyway!
     
  6. theresa

    theresa Read Only Funster

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    oh dear spelling mistake . i meant cards NOT cars :Blush:
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    HI Theresa, you get quite a bit of time to edit one of your own posts. View it and you will see an edit button, you can change what you like:thumb:
     
  8. Pikey Pete

    Pikey Pete Read Only Funster

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    I did wonder though, what they would have done, if the wallet hadn't been there.
    At least they didn't have a go at me, for which I should be grateful, I suppose.

    I think the dummy wallet is a good idea Jim, and when I can get some money I'll buy two and fill one with non value items.


    Pete a little :Cool:er now.
     
  9. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    "Muggers" wallet

    Hi

    Similar idea to the one I carried in the USA it had a load of Old Notes some not even valid a selection of "forgeries", plus an out of date credit card which I had Stopped but kept the old card Some "Store" cards etc All out of date. The idea was if mugged to give up the wallet etc and (Hopefully) Leg it quick!!!.

    Incidently the "forgeries" where made on an OLD colour printer, My NEW one won`t print currency!!!, something in the software (Cannon) won`t let you, it just hangs and the message is software error?.

    pete
     
  10. mikel

    mikel Read Only Funster

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    Didnt't your alarm alarm ?
     
  11. Pikey Pete

    Pikey Pete Read Only Funster

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    I'm a bit of a sad git really I've had the van 2 years and never got around to working out how to set the alarm when I'm inside. Tried a few times but it kept going off when I left it on.
    Guess I'd better get some lessons on how to use it.:Blush:

    Pete:Cool:ish
     
  12. ronald4874

    ronald4874 Read Only Funster

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    Robbery

    Very sorry to hear of your robbery especially at the service point on the Millau Bridge. I have considered that the Aire, after the toll for the bridge, was a safe area, ie robbers have to pay the toll to get at vans on this Aire.
    Just out of interest were the 3 doors chained across as suggested often on this site if so how did they get in without a noise?. In my case even going shopping etc all doors are chained, the curtains closed and a large dog bowl, with water in, is placed outside the step.
    Glad to hear you suggested that gas was not used, again we all know this is a non-runner.
    Hope you have managed to obtain money etc to carry on your journey.
    Good luck RW
     
  13. jomel

    jomel Read Only Funster

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    Really sorry to hear of this bad luck. It makes me so angry :Angry:
    I hope things improve for you soon.
     
  14. Pikey Pete

    Pikey Pete Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for your concern RW.
    I expect that the popularity of the bridge has brought in the tourists and the thieves follow hoping for easy pickings.

    I have no extra precautions as I always relied on picking the right spot to overnight.
    I always think that if thieves are determined to rob you then there isn't much you can do to stop them.

    I may consider some additional precautions for the future, because sure as eggs is eggs it isn't going to stop me bumming around Europe.

    I found an old previously unused Egg card, in a cupboard, still valid till next month, in the van, tried topping up the iPhone with and it worked. Hopefully it will allow me to draw out some money tomorrow. My fingers are firmly crossed.

    I keep finding other things missing such as a £300 pair of prescription sun glasses, driving license, medical card etc,etc.
    Strangely they also took a microfibre cloth used to clean the lap top, now what would they want that for I wonder.

    Pete:Cool:
     
  15. johng

    johng Read Only Funster

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    shame Pete, sorry to hear this :(

    not much I can say :(

    dont let it spoil anything, it probably happens to most people at some point in life.
     
  16. Kon tiki

    Kon tiki Read Only Funster

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    We only use one credit card & a debit card when we are travelling, but we also hide some extra cards in different places in the van (can't tell you where but there are loads of places you can hide a spare card & a bit of cash for emergencies). We used to be reasonably lax about security but after getting robbed in broad daylight in the middle of a large city you realise how much of an easy target you are.
    When abraod we always put a strap across the front doors (not ideal but it hooks over the door pockets & is quite low down) I have an idea how to fit something onto the caravan door to prevent it being opened but can easily be removed in an emergency (just got to get around to making it)
     
  17. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Bad news, it must really put a damper on your trip. We were down that way recently and spent a week in that region. Its probably no concelation and I dont know if your still in the area but there are two fantastic wild camping / unofficial Aires at Saint-Rome-de-Tarn (right on the river) and Lac du Pareloup just 2KM north of Salles Curan. We left bikes unlocked and doors and windows open there with no worries at all. Hope you get sorted.
     
  18. theresa

    theresa Read Only Funster

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    ok thanks jim:Blush:
     
  19. stagman

    stagman Deleted User

     
  20. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

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    My first reaction was OH OH how can I get some money to him, would the camp site he's on take my credit card no. over the phone and hand him some cash? How would you be able to get cash to him, any one any ideas??Obviously by now he will have contacted his bank and arranged new cards to be sent and old ones cancelled, I hope.A great reason to have a fitted safe in the van and use it is this experience.
     

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