There has been a drastic jump lately in the number of foreigners getting robbed around the Abbesses/Sacré Coeur area. There is one group of five young men who usually corner a foreign couple and make them empty their pockets and give them their ATM card pin code. The others just plain old pickpocket tourists. But the end result is that foreigners are now filing by the dozens into the police stations of the 18th arrondissement.
At least two of these stories have a happy ending, though. Undercover policemen caught one of the offenders red-handed in front of Sacré Coeur and they found the wallet of an American woman (among others) in his pocket. She hadn’t yet filed a report anywhere, so my boyfriend C tried calling the American Embassy to see if she was registered there. She wasn’t, so he put the wallet aside just in case she decided to file a report in the next day or two (the other option is to send it off for evidence, but then you can’t get it back).
He was telling me the story over dinner last night, and I said “Do you remember her name? We should look her up on Facebook.” A few clicks later, and there she was! I sent her a message and she replied back a few minutes later saying that it was her, and that she had just been to a different police station to pick up her (empty) purse. Case closed!
The funny thing is that while hunting through the garbages of Sacré Coeur for her own purse, she came across the purse of someone else and also found and returned it yesterday through Facebook. Talk about good karma coming back around to help!