Londoners: Do you feel safe carrying your premium designer bags?

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  1. Hi TPF'ers - Just to mention, this is not exclusively for Londoners, I invite responses from everyone. I would appreciate if Londoners could provide some insight into my dilemma.

    About 2 months ago, I was carrying my Tivoli PM with an LV wallet and Prada sunglasses inside with a couple hundred cash. I STUPIDLY walked home from the station alone, at night (I had just been on holiday so I was still in that frame of mind thinking I could walk everywhere). Three guys followed me in a car, started pestering me and asking for my number. I didn't give it and kept walking.

    When we got to the quiet road, one of them got out of the back seat of the car, the car sped off and he ran up behind me with a knife and started kicking and punching me so I would let go of the Tivoli =( It was a very precious bag so I held on as long as I could until a blow to the head rendered me unconscious and I released my grip on the bag. :crybaby:

    He was probably after the cash, drug money and tossed my bag somewhere. I had to go to hospital and the recovery took almost 3 weeks, including physiotherapy.

    I know I shouldn't have fought him but the bag was just so precious to me. I ended up saving up the money for a new Tivoli but realised seeing the bag everyday would just dredge up bad memories. So I bought the Palermo PM instead.

    I hate people who steal from others, they are scumbags IMO. I didn't have contents insurance, it had never crossed my mind. Now I'm insured to the teeth, but I'm still grieving for my bag.

    Last night, I was in a very wealthy area in London, I took my new Palermo out for a spin. There were 3 of us sat at the bar having cocktails. My friend was on the far right. This very well dressed guy came in, said something to the bartender about "waiting for a client" - we gals were too busy chatting to eachother. He had a briefcase so he must've picked up the bag and covered it with the briefcase as he walked out. He was the only one who came anywhere near us.

    The bag along was worth about £800 and there was a few hundred cash in her wallet. As with me when I got mugged, she is mourning the loss of the bag more as it was very precious to her. It's so disgusting how oppurtunistic people can be. It obviously ruined an otherwise great night, and the sad thing is, he probably took the cash and dumped the bag somewhere too. My boyfriend said I need to start hooking the strap of the bag through the leg of the stool so nobody can run off with it.

    Is this an issue that has affected anyone else? Do we feel safe carrying premium designer brands? Is there a particular occassion when you would leave the bag in it's dustbag rather than risk losing it?

    Thanks for any input,

    Jasmine xx
  2. First of all I am so sorry for what has happened to you and your friend...

    I do not live in London... I live in Miami, FL and I before here I lived in NYC - both in the USA and they are both large cities with high crime rates... So I do understand the issues you are facing..

    I carry my bags everywhere and do not worry about it being taken. if by any chance it happens I hope that I can move on... I would also mourn my bag but surviving is more important...

    Do not let the fear of low lives ruin you joys in life...
  3. I just wanted to say that I'm glad you're ok but why on earth would you find a bag so "precious" that it was potentially worth your life??

    Lesson to all: Let the bag go!!! It can be replaced... your life can't.
  4. I completely agree...
  5. I am really sorry this has happened to you. I am a Londoner and I thankfully have never been mugged.
    The thing about bags is this, most thieves will dump the bag - they just want your purse and keys. Never keep anything in your bag or purse with your address on it or and be careful with your car keys being attached to your house keys. Try to seperate stuff from other precious things so if you are out and your purse gets stolen, not everything is gone.

    Please also promise me you will NEVER take on a mugger. No bag even if it is worth £800 is ever worth taking a a beating for. A blow to the head is very serious and could have been fatal.
  6. Yes I know, you're absolutely right. At the time I was acting instinctively, and it all happened in less than 15 seconds.

    I think the other lesson we should learn from my story is DON'T WALK HOME ALONE AT NIGHT! :Push:

  7. I'm so so sorry to hear about this. I've vacationed in London and didn't realize how careful you have to be there. I always hook my bag to my leg or something of that nature if I can. But the first portion, the car following, my antenna would have been way up, I would have probably gone into the first business I could find to see if I could call a taxi or a friend. Easy to say after the fact, I know! I'm so glad you're okay!
  8. I'm sorry. It is horrible to have things stolen :sad:

    Read this story, it is about a girl going to college in Arizona who had her purse stolen:


    Woman dragged by car during Tempe robbery near ASU

    by Shannon O'Connor - May. 26, 2010 08:10 AM
    The Republic |

    A woman in Tempe was dragged alongside a moving vehicle early Wednesday morning after the driver stole her purse near Arizona State University, police said.
    Around 1:50 a.m., in the block of 200 E. Apache Boulevard, 21-year-old ASU student Kyleigh Ann Sousa was approached by a heavy-set male in a silver Chrysler 300, said Sgt. Steven Carbajal of the Tempe Police Department.

    The suspect grabbed the woman's purse and drove away. The victim held onto her purse and the suspect's vehicle. She was dragged a short distance and fell to the ground. The suspect then fled the scene.
    The victim was transported to a local hospital and is in critical condition.
    The investigation is still ongoing at this time.
    Anyone with any additional information about this incident is encouraged to call Tempe Police at 480-350-8311

    I don't have any idea if she was trying to hold onto her purse or if her arm was caught in the strap. It is just a reminder that if you can let go, make sure you do.

    At the time this story was written the girl was in critical condition. She ended up dying. :cry:
  9. OP, I am so sorry that this happened to you. I live in central Texas, so I don't really think about muggings, but when I visit NYC, or any other large city I always wear a cross body bag. I was once followed in NYC (down by the Bowery/CBGB area) by three guys on foot. I did not see any stores open, so when they started to get closer, I checked traffic and ran into the middle of the road and started yelling. They ran off because they did not like the attention. No cars stopped for me (this was New York so I wasn't expecting it), but the guys ran, which was my goal. I try to always be on guard, know my surroundings and have an escape plan. Yes, I am paranoid.
  10. I'm so sorry this happened to you, and sorry about your friend's bag as well. You have to take everyone's advice to heart, things can be replaced, people can't. And the advice about not having anything with your address in your bag, though this can be tough when you need to carry a driver's license. I'm glad you are ok, and understand why you don't want to carry the same bag again.
  11. #11 Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
    I'm sorry this happened to you and your friend. Hard lessons to learn. Next time please give them the bag or any other property they want. Your health/life is the only priceless thing to worry about.

    As far as premium bags... I doubt the thieves even recognized the bags as premium. They were after the contents and like someone said, probably tossed the bag. Any unprotected purse or easy mark would be targeted by these people.

    Always guard your purse and never assume. When you go out "clubbing" use cross body bags or something with a strap that you can keep on your person at all times. It is a lot easier to be cautious than to deal with the aftermath. I'm surprised neither of you had to deal with identity theft from those two incidents.

    Carry your bags just be aware of your surroundings at all times. Straps too can be cut easily.

    Might want to invest in a can of pepper spray as well.
  12. It's not just London. My family and I live in a small town in Canada and one time, my dad got his car stolen from him at gunpoint. My mom had her non-designer bag stolen at a restaurant and she had just taken off her rolex and placed inside her bag. The police found the bag but not the wallet or the watch. It can happen anywhere.

    Thank goodness, you're safe because fighting with thieves to protect your bag was but totally not worth your life. Also yes, don't walk home alone at night! Even at the bars/clubs always have someone in your party to keep an eye out for belongings. When I went clubbing, we used to take turns doing this and no one ever had anything stolen from them not even premium bags. I feel very safe carrying designer bags in my town and when I go on vacations to large cities - I just make sure everything is with me and I'm hanging onto it and and I'm usually in a group so it makes things safer.
  13. Yes my driver's license was in there, I always need it to prove my age at bars (I'm very petite and always get asked!). The hassle that follows a bag being stolen is really awful too. I had to change the locks, replace all my cards and make up. My boyfriend had to help me with the stairs for a few days.

    He was great, it really helped having him around. He took me away for a week to see some friends in the country. I was glad for the distraction because I was having trouble sleeping, I kept replaying it in my head and I know this sounds silly, but I could hear myself screaming for help everytime I closed my eyes.

    It's been a few months now and I've really come a long way, it's made me a stronger and more vigilant person. Last night when I was carrying the Palermo, during the short walk from the station to the bar, a suspicious man was eyeing up my bag. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if he was going to move and my spidey senses told me he was going to try something. So I crossed the road and walked really fast until I could see some people. I looked back and he was still staring at me! What the hell is wrong with these people??

  14. Ok you really need to get that pepper spray and keep it out, at the ready (not in your bag) when you walk around alone.
  15. My bag was stolen from an unlocked car on my property in a VERY remote area in the U.S. state of Maine. It was 100 acres of nothing but timberland and slate mines. A hunter took the purse from the front seat and fled in his car. My back was turned for 5 minutes.
    At the time, I lived in N.Y.C., and had NEVER been the victim of ANY crime whatsoever.
    It was a bag handmade by Fred Braun and contained my birth cert., passport, college ID's, etc.
    What bothered me is that I had to return to New York and couldn't stay to track this guy down. My police report didn't supply enough information for an ID of this guy, but I remembered his face, speech pattern, and vehicle well enough to make a certain positive ID. If I had seen him again, I would have known him in an instant.
    This guy would have been toast. The only satisfaction I got was from my Father. He reminded me that people who do these crimes ALWAYS pay for their actions. Somehow, somewhere, that man got what he had coming for what he did. You just can't keep doing bad things and expect to get away with it. Eventually, the jerks that steal and hurt people, either get caught, or become victims of their own demise.