I wondered why my son had not contacted me last night on his way with his children to Anglouleme by train.
Turns out his wallet was stolen in Paris and as a result they missed their train so stayed the night in a Paris hotel. I have little info at the moment but he said he was trying to transfer cash to his son’s bank card and, as his driving licence was in the wallet it might prevent him from getting the hire car he booked in Angouleme.
I know no more than that at the moment but have advised him to report/register the incident with the police and then get on the first train that he can.
I can fetch them from Angouleme but I only have one passenger seat in the car, it is set up for long journeys and dogs with loads of emergency and other equiment. Not strictly legal but perhaps the kids (teenagers) could lie down out of sight. Otherwise I will have to take the Berlingo which is really just an emergency local car these days, hasn’t even got a battery in.
Will have to see if tomorrow he can get an emergency licence and maybe passport, British Consulate in Bordeaux might be the best bet to help.
Edit: News just in they are all on the train and will arrive at the hotel in Angouleme around midday. I am assuming that the hotel has agreed to the extra/later night so they are assured of food and beds till tomorrow, Then we can sort things out that need doing.
What a dreadful situation. Good luck to you and your son/family, David!
Oh how awful, poor him. Horrible to be robbed and even worse abroad.
He sounds a little more upbeat now, on the train at the moment and he expects to be in the hotel in Angouleme at midday. He has booked for tonight and tomorrow night there just in case there is a problem with the hire car without his licence tomorrow.
He says he has told his 2 teenagers that no doubt I will remind them of the story of when he was a teenager and missed his train in Paris. You bet I will.
He drifts through life without a care in the world and to be honest I was half expecting something to go wrong in this long and complicated saga. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if his wallet was sticking out of his back pocket for all the world to see, and take advantage of.
As long as they don’t forget to get off the train at Angouleme. I feel the dread of a journey to Bordeaux coming on, just as I did more than 20 years ago.
It’s probably more subtle than that - I remember getting on the metro in Paris and this man pushing me from behind (I had a rucksack on my back) fortunately I rounded on him, which meant he dived out of the carriage and went to the next one. I heard the screams and yells of distress at the next stop - I’m certain he’d found a target.
Many years ago in Brazil we were seeing a friend off at the bus station. My then OH went to an ATM and got some cash. The bus arrived, my friend was getting on the bus and this woman was pushing me. I rounded on her and then realised a couple of minutes later that she was running across the bus station laughing at a man. They’d worked as a pair - she caused the diversion while he robbed OH. They’d obviously seen him go to the ATM and followed him.
It’s bearable if it’s only money - wallets with cards, passports, etc lost as well is much more of a hassle. I feel sorry for your son.
Maybe it’s a good idea to keep money separate from everything else so that official documents can be kept safe - it’s the money (and possibly bank cards) they want.
I hope he gets thing sorted and you don’t have to make any journeys.
I used to use an old wallet with some low dom cash in my pocket and my wallet with cards and main money in my inside jacket pocket, too many years at the Le Mans 24h and on the underground .
We were in Paris at Notre dame when I felt a hand trying to get my wallet out of my rear pocket, he found that a smack in the mouth often offends
3 days ago a friend of mine came out of the Credit Agricole in Bergerac (Naillac) and was confronted by 2 masked hooded men who waved a gun in her face demanding money. She’d been in for documents and had left her bag locked in her car so she showed them the documents and told them she had no money and after a few minutes they ran away. Horrible.
That is a nightmare for sure - these days I am very careful to keep my wallet in a zipped inside pocket… there are some scumbags about…
To redress the balance a little regarding the human race, some years ago I was in the Millenia* Mall in Orlando Florida and dropped my wallet.
I retraced my steps to all the shops I’d been to but no luck. Finally I went to the Mall security office, and some Good Samaritan had handed it in completely intact - cards, driving licence, and $400 in cash…
They didn’t leave a name unfortunately as I would have liked to buy them a large drink!
- Yes spelling nerds, for some reason they do spell it “Millenia”.
Oh no David, what a pain, I hope it gets sorted quickly!
Pickpockets are often very good at what they do. As much as I like to think that, having lived in Paris and commuted on the metro every day, I’m streetwise enough to avoid being a victim the truth is probably I’ve just not been targeted.
However, talking of pickpockets… The state of Tory wannabe mayor of London, Susan Hall, who claimed she was a victim of crime on the underground and how it’s the fault of Sadiq Khan. Her wallet was actually found on the seat where she’d been sitting, picked up by a Good Samaritan who even contacted her to arrange returning it and, after being unable to do so, handed it in to TfL’s lost property - with the cash and credit cards in tact. She still refuses to admit she lied and tried to weaponise the fact she dropped her wallet
The procedure to apply for an emergency travel document is totally online and you can only go to the consulate to collect it once it’s printed off.
Thanks for all the replies. I have just had a face to face on Facebook with him and he is much more relaxed. The only things which were in his wallet were the licence and bank cards. The cards have been cancelled and money they need transferred to his son’s card account. His passport was somewhere else, so safe, and his tickets for the train and elsewhere are on his phone.
They did not have time to go to a police station but if it is necessary, to have a crime number for insurance purposes etc., i am sure that can be done elsewhere in France. They missed the connecting train by only seconds because of all this but fortunately found a hotel nearby to Montparnasse for last night.
His wallet was in the inside pocket of his jacket and he said the metro was unbelievably crowded, so that is the 2nd time in his life he has not heeded my advice to take a taxi.
I have told him that his first call in the morning is to the hire car place to check on their requirements to let him have a car, and the second thing to do is contact Swansea for whatever they can do urgently to replace his licence. If he can’t have a car I think there may be an, infrequent, bus service to Brantome which is 15 minutes away from here and from where I can easily ferry them.
After that, there is a bike shop nearby from where they can hire 3 bikes, which is what he did the last time he visited on his own, last year.
Good to hear it’s not as bad as you feared and that he’s coping well. Here’s hoping the rest of the trip is uneventful.
Thank you, I think there must be an upside to sleep walking through life, and if there is, this is it.
I’m more like my Dad I think, I could hear him talking to this 45 year old man as if he was an errant boy, but the words were coming out of my mouth not his. The only time I ever heard him swear in my presence was when I did something really stupid and got chucked out of college, and my son has never heard me swear either.
Happened to me in Madrid, wallet taken from my inside jacket pocket at a crowded station. Someone saw what happened and alerted me immediately, but the guy merged into the crowd in seconds. At least I found out very quickly and was able to cancel the cards within minutes of the theft. Only a small ammount of money in there as well and the OH had cards and cash as well, so it wasn’t a problem. Just annoying
I had it happen to me in Paris. Usually I really with my hand on my wallet but I had suitcases and the metro was rammed and I let down my guard.
Thankfully I have all the banking apps on my phone so the cards were cancelled within about two minutes, and I still had Google pay, so there was no great inconvenience.
I was really quite impressed that, within about 3 working days, I had new cards and a new driving licence. The carte vitale on the other hand…
Did the driving licence come to your, or your temporary, address? I have told Davey that if a delivery address is demanded, make sure it is ours. No good it going anywhere else after he has moved on.
It needs to be an address in the UK
Hire car companies have access to UK drving licence details via a Licence check code
driving licence number
National Insurance number
the postcode on driving licence