Daylight Robbery

Being (almost) robbed in Paris.

I’m going to tell you what happened to me on Saturday so that you too are prepared if you ever find yourself in a similar situation…


I needed to buy plant pots for the Boyfriend’s (soon to be our) place. He doesn’t know, but I figure if I just do it, he’s hardly going to complain when he gets back and see how I’ve decorated his windows with pretty flowers and ivy (is he?).

This is the plan, thanks  jojo-bean


I go to the bank to take out some money. I’m tapping in my code, careful that no-one is peering over my shoulder. We’re in the fourteenth arrondissement. It’s a quiet and bourgeois area. The only tourists who come to Alésia are the ones who’ve got lost looking for the catacomb museum.



Suddenly, a little arm shoots in front of the screen and starts waving around in my face. 

BUT thanks to my unhealthy addiction to documentaries on crime in France, I knew exactly what was going on…

I remembered the Enquête Exclusive from last week, where they showed how young Romany children thrust a hand or piece of paper in front of you while you are taking out money. Hoping that you’ll turn to see what’s happening, they try to press the maximum withdrawal amount, normally 300 euros. 
Then, on your other side, another child starts tugging at your clothes and distracting you while the first grabs the cash and runs. You turn, completely bewildered, to look at the machine, and you see your card pop out. Thank god, you tell yourself, I’ve still got my card, it’s ok. It’s a only a bit later that you realise what’s been done.

But NO. I was ready for this little sh*t the minute his hand waved in front of my face. Without even looking behind me, I mustered all my strength and thrust my elbow backwards with the force of a furious Englishwoman who doesn’t have 300 euros to lose. BOSH. Right in his face.

I hadn’t realised he was quite so small (I was imagining a 17 year old, so my elbow punch was aimed at stomach height). But after snatching my 20 euros and card safely from the machine and turning around to see my aggressors, I saw that I had just given a hefty coup de coude to a ten-year-old.

He wasn’t knocked out. Nor was he bleeding, or even bruised-looking. He was just sort of rubbing his ear and looking really pissed off that I’d not played the game and let him take my money. My Body Pump classes clearly haven’t paid off….I can’t even beat up a child.

He and his sister took a couple of steps backward then turned and scarpered. I was very lucky.

So, next time you’re taking out money in Paris, the safest thing is to have a friend behind you, but if not just be very vigilant and never take your eye off the screen.

Oh, and hitting children isn’t funny.


Violently yours,


This entry was posted in 75014, Crime in Paris, cultural observation, France,, illegal, Paris, Paris dangers, police, problems abroad. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.