I was robbed.....

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by dippingatoe, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. dippingatoe

    dippingatoe Read Only Funster

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    Internet connection iffy so can't update blog at present. Thought I would post this on here

    The traffic in Nimes is bad, and the road system quite tricky, so I held off leaving until the traffic was lighter, which meant starting out about about eleven pm. Even the cars in the carpark hadn't cleared until just before then.

    I set the Sat Nav for a pretty village the mountains and the spectacular Millau bridge and also set it to avoid the motorway, as I thought we could maybe pull up in a picnic area or layby for a few hours, then start out again early morning, and I knew the motorway rest areas were not to be trusted.

    After a hour or so of travelling we had been through many sleeping villages, but found nowhere obvious to stop. The road we were on was now a main one, and in the dark we hit complicated roadworks. Strict Lady seems a bit delayed with her instructions here in France, often telling me where I should have gone just after I have already gone and done it. And so it was here. The road swept round in a wide circle of blinking orange traffic cones and blinding workman’s arc lamps, then suddenly we were between high walls with a sign ‘Peage' (Toll Motorway) And not only that we were heading south again. Booooo…….

    Once on the motorway of course there seemed to be no way of setting the sat nave to avoid toll roads, so once we had turned round so I was at least heading in the right direction I drove on thinking at least it was easy driving. But I had another problem.

    On arriving in Nimes I was getting short of LPG and although I saw several stations selling it, and at good prices - they were on the opposite side of the road and the dual carriageway system made it impossible to cross over. Never mind I would fill up the next day!

    Of course when I left Nimes that night most of the stations had already shut and those that were open just had automatic pumps, and the LPG pump was not one of them. So I thought it might be an advantage being on the motorway system as the filling stations would be open 24/7. Wrong again!

    Not only were there just automated pumps open at most of them, but even worse - for some reason the filling stations I visited all had 3.5m height restrictions (Thebus is 3.65) and the lorry entrances only led to diesel pumps. After stopping at three or four without success, and the time now approaching one a.m. the fact that I had stayed awake the previous night was beginning to tell. Plus I wasn't sure how much further I could go on my petrol reserves, and didn't want to run out on the motorway, or even on a country road if I exited it.

    Now my researches had made me well aware of the risks of parking at motorway aires so I tried to be careful. Most of the Aires where there would be food in the mornings were so TOTALLY jammed with HGV’s in every conceivable stopping place, plus some where they patently should not have stopped, I had no chance of getting in there, plus I judged those might be the riskiest places as thieves would have richer pickings.

    Perhaps the one I choose to stop at was nearly empty for a reason. Anyway I selected my spot. Stopping in as well lit an area as I could, and not too far from the loos where cars were pulling in fairly frequently. Of course that might have been just the wrong thing to do? I am not quite sure and will hesitate to make further researches.

    So having parked where I deemed safest I checked the door locks were on, locked the sliding windows and set the alarm, though of course it has to be disabled for internal movement because of Phoebe and me.

    Now bear in mind that I was tired, and that I had gone through several toll booths which involved opening the sliding window on the driver’s side. In retrospect I think what I had done was not fully shut the driver’s window after a toll both, then when I flipped the lock - which felt tight though it did turn - it had not fully engaged, so the window was able to be pushed open.

    Anyway about an hour after I arrived (which makes one think there is someone waiting and judging when a tired driver is sound asleep) I was woken by Phoebe, who though not actually barking (she is still a friendly puppy) made enough noise to rouse me. I had deliberately left my bedroom door open and fastened her travelling leash, so she was in her bed to listen at that end of Thebus, but I would hear her easily. Of course I was amazed to see the window open, but in my sleepiness thought I must have forgotten to close it. I told her she was good guarding girl and went back to bed. Obviously closing and locking the window first.

    Next day I still didn't realised I had been robbed until I came to look for something I kept in my computer bag. The bag wasn’t there! First I imagined I had moved it elsewhere but soon realised I never move it. I had chosen the place I keep it as supposedly being safe, in that it was the beside the driver’s seat on the farthest side from the door. So I imagined reasonable secure from opportunistic sneak thieves. That not being the case if the window is opened. They must have simply climbed up on the wheel leaned in and taken it. Next day I found my camera was under the seat, so they may have been reaching over for other stuff when Phoebe made enough noise to rouse me and they made off.

    Without a dog with me I feel sure they would have climbed in and made off with far more. Very fortunately for me I hadn't put my prized Apple MacBook Pro back in its traveling bag, but they did get some expensive and nearly brand new apple storage devices, my iPad and whatever else I have not missed yet.

    It could have been so much worse! I have recently taken to hanging my handbag on the far side of the driver’s seat for the same safety reasons. Had that been there then my credit cards, money, phone etc would all have been gone. Disaster!

    If anybody has travelling safety hints and tips I would be most grateful to hear from you


    I am hoping that soon Little Miss Phoebe will be like her namesake who would have bounded at the window with her bark which was loud and deep enough to frighten anybody, and Great Danes being a guarding breed may have even bitten. I would like to think so anyway.
     
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  2. Mr Ed

    Mr Ed Funster

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    So easy to make silly mistakes when you are tired,and by the sound of it you must have been shattered.I hope you are not going to let it get you down,good luck for rest of your journey.By the way witch are on the A75 was it?......Martin
     
  3. Linda and Steph

    Linda and Steph Funster

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    Sorry to hear of the robbery.

    Do you have 'find my iphone' activated on the ipad?
     
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  4. Rob and Val

    Rob and Val Funster

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  5. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    That's a pain, a lesson for us all though.
     
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  6. dippingatoe

    dippingatoe Read Only Funster

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    Yes - and as soon as I realised I phoned apple. The iPad has been registered as lost and now displays a message with my phone number. So apparently the thieves with be unable to use it in any way. Have changed my passwords on the other stuff. It could have been so much worse. I timely lesson I feel, and I am so grateful I have my dog - albeit only a puppy at present.
     
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  7. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Oh blast!! It's a sick feeling inside when something like this happens. I'm a solo girl with a little dog, travelled far and wide in various campers and have, thankfully, never had any major problems. Having lived and worked not too far from Nimes, however, I am well aware that all of the south is crawling with petty car break-in types. I worked at a cooking school/inn and we were careful to warn all of our guests to pay for guarded parking wherever they could. Gangs especially target foreign registrations and hire cars.
    Apart from the stuff you already know, try cheap Milenco window alarms - strategically placed, they have saved me on one occasion when someone tried it on with my window in Greece. I also used to strap my cab doors together but of course this doesn't apply to your vehicle. Small town aires...never had a single problem - campercontact app POIs installed on your Sat Nav - always gets me out of a pickle when I'm tired and haven't planned a stop.
    Get back on the horse and keep your chin up. Take your Dane to schutzhund training - guaranteed no future problems:
    http://www.k9matters.co.uk/ipo.php :)(y)
     
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  8. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    Sorry to hear your horrible night and hope it hasn't spoilt your trip.
     
  9. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    Sorry to hear about this and glad you came out OK. Basic 101 for me is never put anything of value in a handbag or any external bag, to easy to snatch. All important documents , cards etc should be in a travel pouch around your neck next to your skin. I even sleep with them in the bed. All laptops etc should be in preferably a locked cupboard out of sight.
     
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  10. dippingatoe

    dippingatoe Read Only Funster

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    She is only a puppy as yet, but every Dane I have had (keeping them since the 1960's) was fearless and protective when necessary. And they are very daunting looking dogs when in protect mode and barking.

    It is hard for her as well because I have had to stop her barking at every passing stranger in a campsite. She will learn though as I think she is an intelligent soul.

    She already stands 75cm at the shoulders and probably weighs in at over 40kilos. :)
     
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  11. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    Yes its very hard to concentrate when your so tired, mistakes can and are made very easily, the best opportunity for any tealeaf is a tired victim unfortunatly ... scumbags !
     
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  12. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    Are you sure you weren't gassed??? :LOL:
    Seriously though, what an awful experience, and the theft on top of all the rest. Give Phoebe a hug and I expect she'll give you one too [​IMG]
    (I know, it looks more like a cat... sorry!)
     
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  13. dippingatoe

    dippingatoe Read Only Funster

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    Yes - without the dog I can see how people must think - I couldn't have slept through someone getting in the vehicle - I must have been drugged in some sort of way.

    Yes! you were drugged through tiredness, then falling into the first hour or two of deep sleep. Plus the sleeping mind screens out the noises which are always in the background of a motorway aire such as folk arriving departing, opening and closing their vehicle doors and talking with one another.

    I am so grateful I had Phoebe with me, and already, with encouragement she is taking more of an interest in being on guard :)
     
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  14. Boringfrog

    Boringfrog Funster

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    So let me get this correct, you stayed overnight on a motorway aire?
     
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  15. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Sorry to hear about your misfortune, at least the loss wasn't too bad. The worse bit will be every time you park up for a night you will worry for a while.
     
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  16. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    It's a nasty feeling when it happens. I am so glad all they took can be replaced (although at a cost) and most pleased that neither you not Little Miss were harmed. I hope you got her treats for her good work :)
     
  17. dippingatoe

    dippingatoe Read Only Funster

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    Yes! And if you read my post you will see why it became necessary :(
     
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  18. Camping Parc Verger

    Camping Parc Verger Funster

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    Hi Sue sorry to hear about your experience.

    Lisa and I look forward to welcoming you back to the safety and security of Parc Verger next week.
     
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  19. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Do you know how they opened the window and was it damaged?
     
  20. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Shame you were robbed - but its only "stuff"... Yes, stopping on a motorway aire isn't to be recommended but neither is falling asleep at the the wheel.
    So chalk it down to an (expensive) experience and carry on the adventure...
     
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