I’m sure you’ve been warned before to keep your purse, bag and/or backpack safe from potential thieves, but I bet you never knew just how fast thieves can act—and how they can really come out of nowhere. This video—filmed by a victim of theft, Eric Lau, a tourist from Hong Kong—shows just how quickly belongings can disappear.

The worst part of the video is that it appears that the Thai tuk tuk driver slowed down while cruising the streets of Bangkok and signaled to the thieves on the motorcycle that the time was right. According to the Daily Mail, the bag contained about $500 total (13,000 Thai Baht and HK$1,000), as well as all of Lau’s travel documents. The suspect(s) have yet to be apprehended, even though the license plate is clearly visible in the video. Bottom line: Never leave your bag within easy reaching distance of crooks, regardless of whether you’re in a tuk tuk, taxi, café, or train.

Related: Travel Tip of the Day: Keep Your Handbag Safe.

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3 Comments On "Travel Video of the Week: Watch How Quickly Your Bag Can Be Snatched"
  1. grrljock|

    Yikes! I guess one can never be too paranoid when traveling. Along with this type of theft, I’ve heard of someone whose real backpack got swapped for a decoy when he left his table to get more breakfast food from the hotel buffet, as well as a laptop vanishing when the owner went to the bathroom in an airport lounge. I even saw signs cautioning against customers leaving bags slung on chairs in a tiny restaurant in Canada (!). So moral of the story is one can’t assume places are safer because they have limited access, like lounges or have stereotypically nice people, like Canada. Sigh.

  2. Marcus Kenny|

    I don’t think the driver was in on it. I shake my arm the same way to adjust my watch. Also, it’s just too fast. less than a second from the signal to the snatch. Having said that, I would never trust a tuk tuk driver.

  3. Eva Hunter|

    Tuk tuk driver doesn’t even react, which was a giveaway. Never, never, never, leave your belongings where they can be snatched. Don’t put them on chairs. Keep your arm slung through the strap at all times. Even more important, don’t dress like a tourist. Dress like the people on the street in the place where you are traveling. Booty bags, shorts, big tennis shoes, tee-shirts–a dead giveaway.

    I live in a Mexican town that is heavily touristed. I can tell a tourist in three seconds. If you dress like a tourist, you’ll get targeted for a ripoff.

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