Nearly had my bag nicked on a Merseyrail train

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by trainophile, 15 Apr 2019.

  1. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    Travelling towards Southport this afternoon, I had my backpack on the overhead rack on the left hand side and I was sitting on the right hand side. This is because there's only a rack on one side, and I didn't want the sun in my eyes so sat across the aisle and a couple of rows back.

    I was checking it regularly from my seat, but became distracted because I started listening to music on my earphones to block out a noisy child opposite me.

    Between Formby and Freshfield I looked up and saw a space where my backpack should have been o_O . Immediately jumped up and ran to the nearest door, where a bloke had my bag on top of his wheelie case and was about to leave the train. This chap had been sat below my bag and saw me put it up there, he also kept glancing at me during the journey, but I thought nothing of it.

    I said "that's my bag" and he immediately gave it me, mumbling something about "I was going to hand it in, there was a woman sitting there". I said "you saw me put it there, you knew it was mine". The doors opened and he made off pretty quickly, but not before I had got a profile picture of his head and shoulders. Quite a respectable looking bloke, probably in his 50s with short grey hair.

    I tweeted Merseyrail and told the gate guy at Southport, who suggested 61016 for BTP, but even if they check their CCTV they wouldn't know where to find him.

    I was quite shaken by that experience. Just warning people to stay vigilant if they use overhead racks that aren't immediately above their seat and in permanent view. That's on any train not just Merseyrail.

    On the scale of today's events in Merseyside it's nothing, but thought I would reinforce the reminder to keep your luggage with you whenever possible. I would have lost my iPad and Kindle, probably £600 to replace. Won't make that mistake again :frown: .
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2019
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  3. gtis

    gtis Member

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    Hi
    I know it’s heart breaking to have a back pinched, I know mine got nicked from a hotel lobby
    So I always keep my camera bag on my lap from now on
    Neil
     
  4. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    I nearly had a case nicked off a 185 a few years ago - it was by the door and I was sat nearby. We got to the stop I was getting off at and a chap at the door picked it up as we pulled in. He let go briefly (as I recall) so took the opportunity to grab it. He asked me if it was definitely mine (it was) and said his was lost. I pointed him in the direction of the ticket office at the station but to say he made a hasty exit is an understatement!
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Not had anyone attempt it, but I felt reasonably safe that nobody was likely to attempt to shift my 30 kilo 105 litre rucksack from the overhead of a Class 444 this weekend while I went for a wee! :)

    I always take my laptop bag with me, though, can never be too careful.
     
  6. 73001

    73001 Member

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    You should report it (if you haven't). The trains have CCTV and they will find him. More than likely he gets the train frequently so it's only a matter of time before he turns up again.
     
  7. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    You'd be surprised. Last time someone tried to snatch something on a train I was involved with, the alleged* culprit appeared to be a perfectly respectable commuter by outward appearances - suit, smart shirt etc., and quite professional looking. But they've never been seen on the line since then, and I don't think they were actually ever arrested, either...

    To be fair, though, bag theft from luggage racks (at least reported as such) is actually very rare indeed on the UK network, even in less salubrious places. I think I receive about one report per year on average. You're far more likely to have an unattended bag removed by staff who think it's lost property.

    *I say alleged to cover myself; multiple witnesses and all that...
     
  8. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I left a suitcase on a ScotRail Glasgow suburban service a few months ago. It was a service with some rather 'pleasant' types onboard so once I realised I'd forgotten it, I more or less consigned myself to having lost it. Lo and behold, I went to the relevant station's lost property office the following morning and it was there, ready and waiting for me. I had to trace through the diagrams to find out the correct station though!

    Shows there are at least some people who aren't interested in nicking a suitcase with some clothes in it (although I wonder whether anyone checked to see what was inside :lol:), but suffice to say I won't be making use of ScotRail's free left luggage courier service again knowingly!
     
  9. Fawkes Cat

    Fawkes Cat Member

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    Maybe a quarter of a century ago now (how time flies when you're having fun) when I was with BR Computing in Reading, the IRA ran what was more or less their last mainland campaign, which involved among other things bag bombs.

    One of these was left in a luggage rack in a train. Said abandoned bag was 'collected' by one of the local bag thieves and taken home.

    On opening, bag thief's missis insisted that he called the bomb squad via the police.

    Our understanding was that on this occasion he wasn't prosecuted for the theft.
     
  10. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    Strange (and perhaps sad) to think that just because someone is wearing a suit, they wouldn't be a thief.

    I witnessed a well dressed lady take someones phone from a ticket office counter (okay, I didn't witness the take, but she did steal it!).

    Ticket office member of staff confronts theif with the victim. Theif handed back the phone and mumbled something but then had to endure at least a 10 min journey with the victim.

    Not great all round.
     
  11. al78

    al78 Established Member

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    Not strange to me. Like it or not beauty discriminates, as does ugliness (in the opposite sense).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lookism

    Humans are a long way from being completely rational.
     
  12. baz962

    baz962 Established Member

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    Wonder if it deterred him from liberating anymore bags .
     
  13. Talent

    Talent Member

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    I lock my bags with a small bag lock and a steel cable. Prevents my bags from being "accidentally" nicked...
     
  14. CaptainHaddock

    CaptainHaddock Established Member

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    As someone who regularly enjoys a snooze on the morning commute I always keep my rucksack on the floor my feet but as that doesn't necessarily prevent theft, I always wrap the outer cord around my arm so that was any potential thief will at the every least alert me should they try to steal my bag.
     
  15. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    I thought only posh people could afford to live in Freshfield. Hoping he only got off there because he was nabbed, and had to get back on the next train. I wondered if he picked that point because it’s such a short time between Formby and there. With hindsight that’s why he kept looking at me, trying to pick a moment when I was distracted and we were near a station.

    Still I suppose posh people can be thieves too :| .
     
  16. Pyreneenguy

    Pyreneenguy Member

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    Well, if you're lucky enough to be able to afford Victoria Road !

    I was brought up in equally posh Hillside !

    What was the pack ? Perhaps he was knowledgeable and fancied it for a future trip ?
     
  17. joystick

    joystick Member

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    Just another view on this , someone puts a rucksack on a overhead rack then sits a few rows back on the opposite side and keeps glancing at it .The person sitting under it prob thinks its suspicious and keeps looking for you to see what you are up too. The next bit with him taking it is not so clear.Anyway just saying :)
     
  18. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    It’s a Vans dark red tartan style backpack, it is quite nice actually (£20 in TK Maxx a couple of years ago!). I have had a chap on a different journey admire it while we were waiting to ‘alight’.

    To joystick - that all went through my mind too, but I discarded it as a theory because when we both got on I was sitting across the aisle from him, and as he was struggling to fit a big suitcase on the overhead rack I pointed out to him that it would probably fit between the seats, which he did and thanked me.

    At that stage I had my bag on the seat beside me, but as we approached Liverpool Central I put it on the rack immediately in front of him, right at the wall end. I even went back to it to tuck the straps in so they wouldn’t dangle and annoy him. At Central I changed seats for a better view, moving back one bay, but it didn’t seem worth moving my bag as it was clearly in my view.

    He could have been in no doubt that it was mine, besides which, to give him the benefit of the doubt for a moment, if you think a bag has been forgotten then surely before hoiking it down you at least ask generally whether it belongs to anyone.

    I don’t think I look like a terrorist either, but of course that’s subjective :lol: .
     
  19. GodAtum

    GodAtum Established Member

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    I saw a guys laptop being nicked before. He was fast asleep with his laptop out and this kid grabbed it. I shouted and he dropped it and ran.
     
  20. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Not completely the same, but on the way back from a conference in Manchester a number of years' ago, I grabbed what I thought was my suitacse from the luggage rack and jumped off the train at Euston to catch the Tube to Victoria. When I merged at Victoria, my phone went haywire with missed calls, some from an unknown number and the rest from my wife. When I picked up her message it said that she'd been called by a distraught woman at Euston, asking whether I'd picked up her - almost identical - suitcase. :oops:
    I phoned the woman and apologised before quickly making my way back to Euston, to exchange suitcases. In the circumstances, she was very decent about my mistake, even though it had eroded almost all the contingency time she had allowed to transfer to St Pancras to catch her Eurostar to Paris...
     
  21. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

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    Can relate to this, I work in retail and a lot of shoplifters turn out to be the smartly dressed and polite ones who you would be least likely to suspect of being a thief. They'll behave perfectly normally, come to the till and pay for other stuff regularly in order to gain your trust.
     
  22. Matt_pool

    Matt_pool Member

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    I was watching "Brit Cops" about the City of London Police on one of the cable TV channels. They were after a prolific thief who was targeting people in expensive wine and cocktail bars in London and he was stealing their laptop bags or expensive, designer handbags.

    To cut a long story short they nicked the suspect who was polite and smartly dressed wearing designer clothes so that he blended in, and when they raided his apartment, which again was an expensive place and not some cheap bed sit in a dodgy part of London, they found dozens of designer handbags and laptop bags worth thousands of pounds that he had stolen from under people noses!
     
  23. Arriva Fan

    Arriva Fan Member

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    Seriously? 'Posh' people are the biggest thieves out there, look at the tories. Poor people can be stealing to survive, rich people are stealing to stay rich. They don't usually nick a bag off a train though to be fair, they 'forget' to declare purchasing luxury flats for example, or 'forget' to provide details of all their income to HMRC.
     
  24. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Established Member

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    Coming back from holiday one year, me, my three children and my mother. Get off train at Crewe with all the luggage, and accidentally took a different case to my mums!
    A bloke came running down the platform after me! He realised it was a genuine mistake, and I had to race back onto the train to find mums case. I know this wasn’t the case in the original post, but I suspect many of the reported cases are genuine errors.
    We never have anything of value in the cases, and as we were returning from holiday, even the clothes in the case were dirty, so no gain for anyone stealing them. And a disappointment for the guy who’d been accidentally left with my mums case.
    Thieves do exploit the fact that people don’t expect well-dressed types to be criminals.
     
  25. David Emmott

    David Emmott Member

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    I've hardly ever seen anything (apart from stray copies of Metro) on a Merseyrail luggage rack. I wonder if the new trains will have them – they are not much use.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The mock-up had them on one side like the present trains.
     
  27. brwmly

    brwmly Member

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    Your actions just sound dodgy... You're on a local train, you have a backpack, not a suitcase - just keep it with you. I wouldn't want some random person leaving their bag by me if they keep moving around. And who leaves expensive equipment in their bag when they're not sat by it? You can't have been keeping that close of an eye on it if he managed to take it down and get to the doors!
     
  28. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    ^ Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

    Yeah I was too trusting. But everyone in the immediate area were normal looking shoppers or parents with young children, all minding their own business.

    I didn’t “keep moving around”, just once a couple of feet to a different seat. This forum is mostly young to middle aged folk and mainly male so the assumptions don’t surprise me, but suffice it to say I am in neither category, and I believe I look like the last person you would imagine having any “dodgy” motives. If anything I probably looked like a sitting duck for an opportunist theft. If it hadn’t been for the noisy child I would not have been distracted by selecting music on my phone, which I agree was my own fault. I think he sussed out that I was checking my bag between each station, hence making a grab for it between two close together stops. I wondered why he kept peering back at me through the gap between the seats - thought he was making sure I was still there and hadn’t forgotten it!

    I already had a large-ish shoulder bag on my lap and a carrier bag between my seat and the window, so other than taking up a second seat beside me (very selfish as the train fills up from Liverpool) there was nowhere else to put the backpack (the gent in question had his suitcase in the only space between the seats, and even there you can’t watch it without keep turning round).

    The new trains don’t have any gaps between the rather cramped seats and the window, although apparently they all have space beneath the seats, unlike now. I hope they keep the floors clean if we are supposed to stow our baggage there!
     
  29. Matt_pool

    Matt_pool Member

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    It won't be long before the new trains get neglected and wrecked by members of the public!

    I was on a refurbished Northern 150 a couple of months ago and this bloke had his feet up on the newly upholstered seats. I didn't say anything, but as I stood up to get off the train I gave him the evil eye and he quickly put his feet down.

    Unsurprisingly, this bloke wasn't some scally but a smartly dressed studenty looking guy who should have known better!
     
  30. Rail Blues

    Rail Blues Member

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    Yep, someone i went to university with as posh as they come and an habitual fare evader, but her real thing was shoplifting.

    She'd had everything she'd ever wanted bought for her, so saw no compunction about simply helping herself to stuff and skipping the whole paying and queing schtick. Her whole mindset seemed to be 'I want this now, who are these little people telling me i can't have it.' Also the consequences of her getting a criminal record, was fairly inconsequential, whereas for me it would have nadgered my life chances before I'd even got started.

    Years after university she was caught, but only got a caution after screaming blje murder in the shop about lawyers.
     
  31. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    Not necessarily an assumption that they wouldn't do criminal acts, but rather that they wouldn't do that criminal act.

    It would be astonishing if a well paid employee of a City Bank mugged someone in the street or pickpocketed someone for their phone. If they were to go down the criminal route it would be far more likely to be a financial fraud.
     

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