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Theft warning in Cahors

vleadbe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugese (2016)
Hello, I just wanted to warn fellow pilgrims of a theft today in Cahors. I wasn't the victim it was another pilgrim. I'm not naming the gite it occurred at because I don't believe the gite was at fault and I wouldn't like for the gite to have negative repercussions. The pilgrim was leaving at breakfast time and she put her backpack down in the garden while she went inside for a few minutes to get something. The garden was gated. In that time someone came into the garden through the gate and stole her whole backpack. They got her bank cards, cash and all her equipment including camping equipment. The only luck she had was that her phone was in her pocket. She was planning to go all the way to Compostella and now is going home. Since the thief has been lucky once he is likely to try the same thing again. Please don't be complacent with your bags, I'm guilty of it myself and this has been a sharp reminder. Stay safe everyone.
 
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Rex

One Step at a Time
Time of past OR future Camino
2023 VF 2nd Half
So sorry to hear this and thinking of the person whose Camino was scotched completely by an erroneous assumption and a few moments of complacency.

Having just finished the French/Swiss parts of VF, the only times I was concerned about theft was when I was in the bigger cities. There is a visible and growing problem with homelessness and people who actively approach strangers in train stations, outside of grocery stores, outside of major venues like museums and churches, begging for money for food. That didn't bother me as much as watching certain young men (not sexist, that's who the culprits are in the main) hang about on the edge of city plazas - fellows who were watching people eating and drinking who might be unwary and leave a purse or pack unattended for a minute or two. I've been a victim of this one time when I was 20, at CDG Aeroport in Paris... briefcase on the floor beside me at the checkin counter. There were lots of people around and it's a busy place. Looked down two minutes later and my briefcase had vanished - with camera, notebooks, etc... No one in line had seen anything happen. Lesson learned almost 50 years ago and it sticks to this day... don't leave anything you value unattended... full stop!!
NOTE: The thieves in Paris and Rome are beyond brazen.
Anecdote: A couple of years ago, I was standing on a street corner near Pont Neuf one morning when a very well dressed Parisienne matron walked up beside me, waiting for the light to change. Her large "famous brand" handbag was sort of gapped open on the top and I could see her wallet and phone down inside. About that time, two small fellows about 10 years old walked up behind us and I sensed a potential problem. Fellow one asked the lady for money on her left side, while fellow two started to reach into her open bag, which was between us on her right side... I said politely but loudly to fellow two, "BONJOUR". Fellow two jumped about a foot in the air and they both took off running. Lady thanked me when she figured out what had almost happened to her. Complacency can be and often is costly!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (June 2022)
Hello, I just wanted to warn fellow pilgrims of a theft today in Cahors. I wasn't the victim it was another pilgrim. I'm not naming the gite it occurred at because I don't believe the gite was at fault and I wouldn't like for the gite to have negative repercussions. The pilgrim was leaving at breakfast time and she put her backpack down in the garden while she went inside for a few minutes to get something. The garden was gated. In that time someone came into the garden through the gate and stole her whole backpack. They got her bank cards, cash and all her equipment including camping equipment. The only luck she had was that her phone was in her pocket. She was planning to go all the way to Compostella and now is going home. Since the thief has been lucky once he is likely to try the same thing again. Please don't be complacent with your bags, I'm guilty of it myself and this has been a sharp reminder. Stay safe everyone.
This is terrible to hear - poor woman.
When I was preparing for my first camino earlier this year (finished in Santiago on the 17th July) i watched a lot of videos for advice on everthing.
One young American girl was especially helpfull and she advised to take all credit cards, cash, passport, etc in a bumbag and do not take it off ever, apart from showering and sleeping. When showering, have ti with you and when sleeping, have it in your sleepong bag/liner.
I followed this wise advice and thankfully did not lose anything.
I did however speak to three people who had had money stolen on the camino, all three in SJPP in different albergues. All three did not use a bumbag.
Its virtually imposible to travel the camino and not leave your backpack unatended at sometime - so use of a bumbag is wise. if you lose your backpack,clothes and towel and slepping bag etc, its bad, but you can replace them. having yourour documennts, c/c, passport etc stolen is soul destroying.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
On my first camino, on the second morning, at Roncesvalles, I had ordered breakfast when I registered on arrival. I would never do so again. It was raining in the morning and the restaurant was packed. All backpacks had to be left outside. I had rain protection for the pack, but no way to insure that it was not stolen, as I could not see it when inside. Yes, I had my valuables, but replacing all my gear, including my guidebook and any photocopied information in my pack, would have been extremely awkward. Anyone could have picked up any backpack and just walked off with it. I could not have left it inside the albergue, as the dormitory was closed for the morning cleaning. I did not know that a very long wait for breakfast would ensue. I am surprised that I have not heard of frequent thefts there.
 

Sandrapf99

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future:As soon as we are able to travel post Covid travel restrictions.
Hello, I just wanted to warn fellow pilgrims of a theft today in Cahors. I wasn't the victim it was another pilgrim. I'm not naming the gite it occurred at because I don't believe the gite was at fault and I wouldn't like for the gite to have negative repercussions. The pilgrim was leaving at breakfast time and she put her backpack down in the garden while she went inside for a few minutes to get something. The garden was gated. In that time someone came into the garden through the gate and stole her whole backpack. They got her bank cards, cash and all her equipment including camping equipment. The only luck she had was that her phone was in her pocket. She was planning to go all the way to Compostella and now is going home. Since the thief has been lucky once he is likely to try the same thing again. Please don't be complacent with your bags, I'm guilty of it myself and this has been a sharp reminder. Stay safe everyone.
So sad!!! I was just telling my sister that I always leave my backpack in front of the gîte and go walk around until it opens. Now I feel like I have to be more careful.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Now I feel like I have to be more careful.
Yes. You always needed to be, but it's pretty normal to forget that in another place.
I grew up in a tourist destination. Tourists often do things here that they would never consider for a moment at home, like leaving keys in the car or valuables in plain sight while going elsewhere to do something. Or stopping their rental car in the middle of a busy road to take a photo, and ambling across several lanes of traffic to a tourist attraction without a glance in either direction. That kind of thing. As if this some alternative universe where everything is nice - when it's actually the same gritty world with prettier (or just different) scenery.
The same applies when we travel overseas. Don't leave your mind at home.
 

Sandrapf99

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future:As soon as we are able to travel post Covid travel restrictions.
Yes. You always needed to be, but it's pretty normal to forget that in another place.
I grew up in a tourist destination. Tourists often do things here that they would never consider for a moment at home, like leaving keys in the car or valuables in plain sight while going elsewhere to do something. Or stopping their rental car in the middle of a busy road to take a photo, and ambling across several lanes of traffic to a tourist attraction without a glance in either direction. That kind of thing. As if this some alternative universe where everything is nice - when it's actually the same gritty world with prettier (or just different) scenery.
The same applies when we travel overseas. Don't leave your mind at home.
I do carry my valuables with me ALWAYS, but I’ve left my pack unattended.
 
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Craig L

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances starting April 28, 2023
I travel on a very regular basis for my job (68 flights last year alone) and I carry a very small lightweight tracker in my bag in the event the airline sends it elsewhere. Although it can't be a substitute for being alert, it looks like I'll be throwing it in my pack when I walk next April.
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Suffice it to say I haven't yet stopped walking
Many years ago, I lived in Tarbes, France. I thoroughly loved living there and was completely in love with the French people, the French culture, and the language. One day I and a few friends visited a park. I took an expensive 35mm camera with me to take pictures.
It just so happened toward the end of our park visit I was sitting on a bench and put the camera and case down on the ground while I looked about. Another friend called me over to look at something (not more than twenty steps away). I walked over, leaving my camera on the ground. In minutes I returned and there was no camera.
Opportunists take advantage of the smallest bits of inattention. The lesson I learned, if you value it, hold onto it and never let it out of your grasp.
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Hello, I just wanted to warn fellow pilgrims of a theft today in Cahors. I wasn't the victim it was another pilgrim. I'm not naming the gite it occurred at because I don't believe the gite was at fault and I wouldn't like for the gite to have negative repercussions. The pilgrim was leaving at breakfast time and she put her backpack down in the garden while she went inside for a few minutes to get something. The garden was gated. In that time someone came into the garden through the gate and stole her whole backpack. They got her bank cards, cash and all her equipment including camping equipment. The only luck she had was that her phone was in her pocket. She was planning to go all the way to Compostella and now is going home. Since the thief has been lucky once he is likely to try the same thing again. Please don't be complacent with your bags, I'm guilty of it myself and this has been a sharp reminder. Stay safe everyone.
I'm sorry to hear this, though I have ranted over and over, as have other experienced pilgrims, NOT to leave anything of value in your pack... ever. Bank cards, cash, all need to be on your person constantly, even in the shower. It's just common sense.
 

PJThomasJP

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 Salvador y Primitivo
2022 Olvidado y Invierno
This is terrible to hear - poor woman.
When I was preparing for my first camino earlier this year (finished in Santiago on the 17th July) i watched a lot of videos for advice on everthing.
One young American girl was especially helpfull and she advised to take all credit cards, cash, passport, etc in a bumbag and do not take it off ever, apart from showering and sleeping. When showering, have ti with you and when sleeping, have it in your sleepong bag/liner.
I followed this wise advice and thankfully did not lose anything.
I did however speak to three people who had had money stolen on the camino, all three in SJPP in different albergues. All three did not use a bumbag.
Its virtually imposible to travel the camino and not leave your backpack unatended at sometime - so use of a bumbag is wise. if you lose your backpack,clothes and towel and slepping bag etc, its bad, but you can replace them. having yourour documennts, c/c, passport etc stolen is soul destroying.
Excellent advice. Although I have never had anything stolen, I follow this practice religiously more for my own peace of mind.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
One young American girl was especially helpfull and she advised to take all credit cards, cash, passport, etc in a bumbag and do not take it off ever, apart from showering and sleeping. When showering, have ti with you and when sleeping, have it in your sleepong bag/liner.
I followed this wise advice and thankfully did not lose anything.
I have used this exact method to carry all my valuables and it has served me well on all my Caminos. Whatever you prefer to call them...bumbags/fanny packs/waist bags, they are the easiest, safest and handsfree way to keep important items close. It gives me a feeling of safety to have them literally "on my person" and at my fingertips, tight against my body all day long.
It makes no difference to me if others think they are unattractive. I use my small attractive crossover bags on other trips, but when I've combined one with a backpack there is no comparison between the two for me in security, comfort and ease of use.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Pockets. Fabulous things. You can't leave your valuables behind if they are safely in your pocket.

One of the main reasons I wear the skirt you see in my Avatar. It has big pockets with a clever security zip inside one - the zip opens upwards, instead of down. Which makes it impossible for someone to do without me knowing.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Pockets. Fabulous things. You can't leave your valuables behind if they are safely in your pocket.

One of the main reasons I wear the skirt you see in my Avatar. It has big pockets with a clever security zip inside one - the zip opens upwards, instead of down. Which makes it impossible for someone to do without me knowing.
I understand what you say, Kanga, but I don't see the advantage, and when showering or changing into sleep wear from your skirt you must need to remove a small wallet type item anyway to take to the shower or put in your sleeping liner/bag at night. Even if your valuables are well protected in the special pocket, the majority of women do not choose to wear the longish skirts, or a large front pack like you have used.
Most waist packs have two security zippers. A person would have to literally rip the whole thing off your waist to get at anything inside. Add your backpack to it and it is impossible.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Pockets in pants work too.
I understand what you say, Kanga, but I don't see the advantage, and when showering or changing into sleep wear from your skirt you must need to remove a small wallet type item anyway to take to the shower or put in your sleeping liner/bag at night.
Big pockets in pants work too. I wear my clothes into the shower so obviously the pockets come with me. I change into my clean clothes in the shower, and transfer my valuables at that time. I sleep in those clothes ready for the next day.

I'm not suggesting everyone adopt this method, but it works for me.

I'm such a fan of pockets I now rarely buy clothes without them. Men seem to get through most of life without a handbag and I can see why.
 
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henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
In daily life we all carry some ‘stuff’ - it’s part of our regular routine. We are so accustomed to what we do that done ‘sixth sense’ develops when something’s missing.

On Camino we’re usually carrying more ‘stuff’ and in different ways whether in pockets, waist packs, rucksacks and so-on; but we’re not in our home environment. Things are different and there are more distractions.

It’s good practice to practice!

If you’re going to use a waist-pack; for example; for your valuables try adopting the practice at home for a while. You’ll soon start to get the ‘something’s wrong’ feeling when you’re without it.
 

Leaderene

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portuguese
Camino Ingles
Hello, I just wanted to warn fellow pilgrims of a theft today in Cahors. I wasn't the victim it was another pilgrim. I'm not naming the gite it occurred at because I don't believe the gite was at fault and I wouldn't like for the gite to have negative repercussions. The pilgrim was leaving at breakfast time and she put her backpack down in the garden while she went inside for a few minutes to get something. The garden was gated. In that time someone came into the garden through the gate and stole her whole backpack. They got her bank cards, cash and all her equipment including camping equipment. The only luck she had was that her phone was in her pocket. She was planning to go all the way to Compostella and now is going home. Since the thief has been lucky once he is likely to try the same thing again. Please don't be complacent with your bags, I'm guilty of it myself and this has been a sharp reminder. Stay safe everyone.
Thank you for sharing this. Have never experienced this type of event and it makes me so sad.
 

TraceyR

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I travel on a very regular basis for my job (68 flights last year alone) and I carry a very small lightweight tracker in my bag in the event the airline sends it elsewhere. Although it can't be a substitute for being alert, it looks like I'll be throwing it in my pack when I walk next April.
I use one of these all the time, when flying and also hiking. I have them in all my luggage and know at all times where they are. It also helps my family “find me “ on their phones
 

Ultreia et Suseia!

Camino training yields the best packing list!
Time of past OR future Camino
From O Porto in September.
Since I saw that theft scene in The Way movie I got this lock, you can use it at stops and restaurants to attach your pack to chairs, railings, etc. Fairly light at 1 oz.

 

nathanael

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
Hello, I just wanted to warn fellow pilgrims of a theft today in Cahors. I wasn't the victim it was another pilgrim. I'm not naming the gite it occurred at because I don't believe the gite was at fault and I wouldn't like for the gite to have negative repercussions. The pilgrim was leaving at breakfast time and she put her backpack down in the garden while she went inside for a few minutes to get something. The garden was gated. In that time someone came into the garden through the gate and stole her whole backpack. They got her bank cards, cash and all her equipment including camping equipment. The only luck she had was that her phone was in her pocket. She was planning to go all the way to Compostella and now is going home. Since the thief has been lucky once he is likely to try the same thing again. Please don't be complacent with your bags, I'm guilty of it myself and this has been a sharp reminder. Stay safe everyone.
I did the Camino del Norte and when I was done spent a few days in Santiago then back to Madrid for three days. On my last day, someone pickpocketed my shoulder bag. I wasn't in a crowd and can't believe after fourteen times in Spain and knowing Madrid well I was robbed. The person unzipped my bag and took my wallet with three credit cards, 70 Euros and 15 Canadian leaving me with nothing. At the pension where I was staying the man in charge gave me enough money for food and was able to get the bus to the airport the next day. One needs to be careful and aware. The first time such a thing has happened to me.
 
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danielle aird

La vie est belle
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2018; September 2018; May 2019; Sept (2019)
Hello, I just wanted to warn fellow pilgrims of a theft today in Cahors. I wasn't the victim it was another pilgrim. I'm not naming the gite it occurred at because I don't believe the gite was at fault and I wouldn't like for the gite to have negative repercussions. The pilgrim was leaving at breakfast time and she put her backpack down in the garden while she went inside for a few minutes to get something. The garden was gated. In that time someone came into the garden through the gate and stole her whole backpack. They got her bank cards, cash and all her equipment including camping equipment. The only luck she had was that her phone was in her pocket. She was planning to go all the way to Compostella and now is going home. Since the thief has been lucky once he is likely to try the same thing again. Please don't be complacent with your bags, I'm guilty of it myself and this has been a sharp reminder. Stay safe everyone.
Sorry about the theft. So inconvenient and expensive. I use the luggage transfer and have had people (not the transport company, I am sure!) steal from my backpack. Once in the tiny little pocket at the top, someone stole a small bag which contained my earbuds - they must have thought it was money and it was easy to grab in a second. Another time, I had a bag of cough candies - again, no big loss but just to show that people will quickly unzip a compartment which has no lock and steal whatever is in there. Sometimes, it is more the inconvenience than the cost but beware if you leave your bag unattended for luggage transfer. Dishonest people have the opportunity for a quick "lift". If you don't want to use a lock, even a twist tie which you twist several times might stop a quicker-than-the-eye-can-see theft. I label my hiking sticks so that if I forget them, someone might call me to let me know they have found them. Label your guide book and all your other items.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I have a rather interesting story to report regarding luggage transfer along the Via Podiensis. My friend was having her luggage transferred every day to the next location and it was working like clockwork. She would cram her very expensive second pair of shoes, one in each of the two water bottle holders on each side of her pack. When we arrived at our gite, she was extremely disappointed to discover one of her shoes was missing...a bummer for sure.
The next morning as we were leaving the gite, our other friend happened to notice a shoe on the road near the curb outside the gite...a cause for rejoicing cuz it was hers! It was almost like a small miracle! Needless to say she never did that again.
Here are the shoes she had.
Screenshot_20220806-150401~2.png
 

vleadbe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugese (2016)
Sorry about the theft. So inconvenient and expensive. I use the luggage transfer and have had people (not the transport company, I am sure!) steal from my backpack. Once in the tiny little pocket at the top, someone stole a small bag which contained my earbuds - they must have thought it was money and it was easy to grab in a second. Another time, I had a bag of cough candies - again, no big loss but just to show that people will quickly unzip a compartment which has no lock and steal whatever is in there. Sometimes, it is more the inconvenience than the cost but beware if you leave your bag unattended for luggage transfer. Dishonest people have the opportunity for a quick "lift". If you don't want to use a lock, even a twist tie which you twist several times might stop a quicker-than-the-eye-can-see theft. I label my hiking sticks so that if I forget them, someone might call me to let me know they have found them. Label your guide book and all your other items.
Funny you should mention this, I used the luggage transfer to have a day without my pack and after this poor lady's experience in Cahors I have been too paranoid to use it again. Not because of the company, but because I see the bags unattended while waiting for pick up and its definitely made me rethink it.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Not because of the company, but because I see the bags unattended while waiting for pick up and its definitely made me rethink it.
When I've entered the albergues/hotels on the Caminos I quite often have noticed the bags lined up inside, not far from the entrance doors; often in a vestibule with no one around. I had not thought about potential theft from unattended bags, but it now gives me pause.
 

Mycroft

Veteran Member
When I've entered the albergues/hotels on the Caminos I quite often have noticed the bags lined up inside, not far from the entrance doors; often in a vestibule with no one around. I had not thought about potential theft from unattended bags, but it now gives me pause.
Hmmm. I've only used a transport once and that was on the Camino Portugues. The route that day was to be very steep and the weather very hot, so I splurged. Took me quite awhile to find the albergue (no sign on the road where to turn, and 4 locals misdirected me because they didn't really know where the albergue was), and when I found it, there were several packs lined up outside the place--and not near the door. Reading the experiences above, I now see how anyone could have walked by the albergue and walked off with a pack or two, unseen.
Does the individual albergue mandate where packs may be left on the property, or is it the carrier who decides?
If I were to use a transport again, I will now ask my pack be left inside the albergue.
 
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Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018), Camino Ingles (from La Coruña, 2019), Camino Portugues (2020)
I keep carabiners on all my bags/pack/camera. Depending on the situation I may clip them together, to my belt, or to a chair/table/railing/bench. Tiny carabiners or clips can also be used to fasten zippers.
 

David61

Active Member
The first time I used a transport I mentally acknowledged that I would be lucky to see my pack again. I took the important things with me, wallet and passport knowing that I could get home at least. Not counting the pack if someone wanted the contents they were more in need than me! Happily, the pack made it each time and only once had it been noticeably gone through
 

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