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Warning - robbery at French motorway services.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Be warned, friends have just been robbed at a French motorway services (A5, Aire de Troyes Fresnoy 10270) en route to the Alps. One of their tyres was slashed while they had left their car in the car park; they were then distracted by a 'helper', while an accomplice took bags, containing laptops and bank cards, from the car. According to the Gendarmes, this is not an uncommon occurence.

Apparently, they were lucky not to have their money taken, as the fraudsters often find a pretext to take their prey to a cash machine, to pay for a tyre or compensate them for their good deed, and then make a swift getaway along with the cash, wallet or even the card, having memorized the pin code. Sad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
OMG that’s terrible! Definitely worth remembering when driving over. Luckily we tend to stop off the motorway for break / petrol as it’s far cheaper but the odd occasion it’s been at a Aire - was it at one of the small ones or a big one with a big petrol station / restaurant?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hope they still manage to get skiing. Something similar happened to me a few years ago, tyres slashed, all valuables gone from the car, good few minutes before we noticed as we were trying to work out why the tyres were flat. Thankfully we had our phones. Our incident happened between Annecy and Geneva and the Gendarmes said it happens all the time, they know all your valuables/cash money are in one place, easy pickings!


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 4-03-22 18:38; edited 1 time in total
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Another great reason to avoid FRANCE!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
And another great reason not to have
Quote:

all your valuables/cash money / ... in one place
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Who leaves cash and bank cards in an unattended car? rolling eyes Still not good though. @Rogerdodger, I hate to disillusion you, but there are criminals to be found everywhere. rolling eyes
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hurtle wrote:
Who leaves cash and bank cards in an unattended car? rolling eyes Still not good though. @Rogerdodger, I hate to disillusion you, but there are criminals to be found everywhere. rolling eyes

Friends of ours had their rental car raided at a Swiss service station.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Our incident was a two minute spontaneous stop to take a photo of an old bridge, in an affluent rural area, car was locked and in sight the possibility of being robbed couldn't have been any further from our minds!
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sadly, there are opportunist thieves all over the place, though you hope that you would be fairly secure in motorway services, you would assume there are cameras all over the place!!!


@alasdair.graham, i dont know the name, but is it the old narrow bridge over a high gorge, about half way between annecy and geneva?

i really like the bridge, used to go over it all the time whilst doing airport transfers from meribel to geneva.
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Partly through planning, and partly through being naturally untidy, I generally have my four bank cards in four different places. I do have £20 and one of my little used credit cards, in my car permanently, along with my bar of cheap and nasty chocolate and a bottle of water. But not anywhere very obvious. As well as being untidy I am also lucky. I have only been robbed once and when I've broken down (flat tyre etc) in out of the way places, including twice in Africa and once in the pitch dark on the lonely side of Lake Annecy, late at night, have encountered friendly help. I dare say my luck will run out one day, but meanwhile I tend to hope for the best - not that I do anything stupid or risky.
My one robbery was also in Africa - busy street in Nairobi. Someone had obviously watched me come out of the bank (it took the whole of lunch time to queue up for cash) and snatched my purse, very cleverly, pushing past me. Fortunately I noticed, and saw the guy carrying it very calmly and unobtrusively. I chased him and shouted and he dropped it and legged it - thieves got beaten up, sometimes to death, in Nairobi streets.

These days, I guess very few of us carry large wodges of cash around with us.

Fingers crossed......
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@elsie80 a big one with a restaurant. Aire de Troyes Fresnoy-le-Château
https://goo.gl/maps/Y1buutj5ostvnW559
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terrygasson wrote:
sadly, there are opportunist thieves all over the place, though you hope that you would be fairly secure in motorway services, you would assume there are cameras all over the place!!!


@alasdair.graham, i dont know the name, but is it the old narrow bridge over a high gorge, about half way between annecy and geneva?

i really like the bridge, used to go over it all the time whilst doing airport transfers from meribel to geneva.


Yes that's the one, Pont de la Caille. The gendarmes said the bridge provides them with a lot of work, a few robberies a week, winter and summer(would be very easy to catch them in the act) and very sadly a lot of suicides, it's above a very high gorge.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Does anyone know of any ‘pay at pump’ service stations on the main French Autoroutes?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Sasha320320 wrote:
Does anyone know of any ‘pay at pump’ service stations on the main French Autoroutes?


Almost all of them have that option, can't say as I've used em much, prefer getting off and going to a supermarket. For me the 30% is quite a bit.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hurtle wrote:
Who leaves cash and bank cards in an unattended car? rolling eyes Still not good though. @Rogerdodger, I hate to disillusion you, but there are criminals to be found everywhere. rolling eyes


+1
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Not to be disrespectful, but when I read the title of this thread I expected it to be a joke about the cost of fuel!!!! Hahahah
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Number of times we’ve stopped there! Have to say little surprised as that’s a big and very busy services.

Now slightly concerned as we are staying overnight in Ibis about 4 miles away
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Similar stories to what can happen on the routes down to the Med and Spain in summer, also the following car indicating that there is something wrong with your vehicle and trying to get you to stop at the side of the road, while one points at your tyre or exhaust etc , another steals from the car. Basically we are herds of Wildebeest on migration trying to fend off the predators. Sad
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I never leave anything valuble in the vehicle when we go into a service station and always have a good look round for undesirable, if I see any(only twice) I make a point of making eye contact to show I have spotted them.
Thieves in every country cant pick out France
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Luck of the draw. Statistically very unlikely although that doesn't help @Mike S 's friends. I can't imagine why you'd leave credit cards in a bag though. I don't think I'd let a stranger help me unless I was desperate. Maybe it's best to park close between other cars.
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robs1 wrote:
Thieves in every country cant pick out France
exactly.

The puncture/slash has long been a "popular" Spanish and especially around southern tourist locations.
Colleague at fuel station southern france had someone open rear passenger door, reach across daughter to snatch wife's handbag that she was holding ! More than 15 yrs ago, lock the car even while you're inside it.
Family member looked in wing mirror while towing caravan in Spain to see two people on a motorcycle trying to get in to caravan while travelling on dual carriageway!

Back in UK, many cashpoint around here have "wing mirrors" little wide angle pads to monitor people around you while using.
Park near me popular with cyclists, someone had a road bike knicked while riding it !!! Two mopeds, 4 people, pulled him off it while he was trying to get away from them.
Pick pockets during Christmas shopping London.
Riding a motorcycle around, have to be aware of collection of scooters near you. They take keys from ignition at traffic lights to steel the bike, plenty of scooter interactions on tha-tube.
And so it goes on, they know where value is and where guard is low, CCTV doesn't do much to prevent.

Busy tourism activity always a place to target.
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I think it's useful to know how that type of crime may work. My suggestion would be to have a plan in mind for what you'd do should you "have a flat", and that would not involve direct "assistance" by anyone as you can't assume they'd be there, and you can't assume they'd not be hostile.

Once on a business/ski trip I had a flat in a bad bit of LA at 04:00. I was sure I'd be machine-gunned.... that was the quickest wheel change in human history.

---
I dislike leaving my gear (cameras, computers etc) in my car at ski resorts as cars are hardly secure. In downtown Vancouver parking a car with snowboards in it is apparently significantly risky - the local cops/ security people advise against that and will direct parkers to the more secure car parks. They have a fentanyl problem.

Cash machines: in the Dominican Republic I was slightly concerned when withdrawing cash from the local machine to notice a chap with a shotgun standing well within range. It took me a second to compute that he was there for my protection, rather than to take my money. I did feel slightly exposed when walking away though, as obviously the place for attack would not be where the shotgun man was, but a little further away.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Rogerdodger wrote:
Another great reason to avoid FRANCE!!


Please do!
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There’s a new tram service at NCE (Nice airport) which goes between Terminsl one and T2, and also on to the brand new airport hotels, Hol in Express and Grand Hyatt. It’s free for all those stops and then just pay for any stops further along which take you into Nice central. “Gratuite” is written everywhere however this didn’t stop my husband ignoring both these and my insistence it was free to be persuaded by a woman insisting you had to pay €1.50 for all journeys. He said “oh well, it’s only €1.50 each, I’ll pay it”. I was v annoyed he didn’t listen to me and bless him, he had to eat humble pie afterwards on arrival at Hol In Express last night to discover his wallet had been stolen. We then had to spend an hour and a half cancelling all the cards before retiring to NCE to visit the police (EXTREMELY helpful) to file a report.
€270 already taken from one card, as, like an above poster has mentioned, they watch you as you enter your PIN. Luckily, didn’t take any of my money so not the end of the world, but I will kindly give him €20 a day for his “allowance” Eh oh! Eh oh! Eh oh!
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@Kimski44, if you are still there and want a nice place to eat in town the go here.

L'Octopussy Restaurant
+33 6 25 00 62 42
https://maps.app.goo.gl/ZetCeHKWqpi2ir9u5
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GlasgowCyclops wrote:
@Kimski44, if you are still there and want a nice place to eat in town the go here.

L'Octopussy Restaurant
+33 6 25 00 62 42
https://maps.app.goo.gl/ZetCeHKWqpi2ir9u5


No, but I will definitely go there next time! Love a great eat tip! Thank you
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@GlasgowCyclops, Sorry off topic but@GlasgowCyclops, I would really like to know of a halfway decent place to eat close to the airport hotels, Ibis, Novotel, Campanile etc. I've been stuck there a few times overnight when BA and EJ have had problems and haven't found anywhere yet.

Back on topic we have caravanner friends who have been targeted twice while staying overnight in their caravan. It is a real problem although it seems to have been decreasing during the summer over recent years. English were regularly targeted due them generally carrying all their holiday cash, these days much less cash is carried.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@"Mike S"
What time of day did this happen?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It wouldn’t have helped this aggravated offence.

But either in the UK or on the continent, we’ve never left a car full of cases alone at service stations. Everyone stays with the car, just one goes in at a time …. for stuff.

I thought I maybe paranoid, but these stories highlight that there are genuinely opportunistic lowlives (AKA grime) looking to exploit travellers.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Timc wrote:
@GlasgowCyclops, Sorry off topic but@GlasgowCyclops, I would really like to know of a halfway decent place to eat close to the airport hotels, Ibis, Novotel, Campanile etc. I've been stuck there a few times overnight when BA and EJ have had problems and haven't found anywhere yet.

Back on topic we have caravanner friends who have been targeted twice while staying overnight in their caravan. It is a real problem although it seems to have been decreasing during the summer over recent years. English were regularly targeted due them generally carrying all their holiday cash, these days much less cash is carried.


No, Timc, BUT the new tram is super convenient direct from NCE airport, calling in at both terminals and so can take you easily into say the old town, where you’d def find somewhere really cute. Just don’t get pickpocketed like we did!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My mum and dad are frequent, experienced, road trip travellers of France and this sort of issue at aires has been going on for a long time. They are always very careful on their stops on their travels all around France.
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