iPhone Thieves in Paris

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Of course, the problem about iPhones is that other people want them too.

When I had lunch at Vilalys in the Palais Royal gardens with my German friend Chris just after I got my iPhone, I naturally had to demonstrate all its wonderful features, particularly since the last time I saw her, I only had my Palm Pilot, cool I must admit but nothing like an iPhone. After lunch, Relationnel and I left for a long weekend and it was not until we were a couple of hours out of Paris that I realised I no longer had my iPhone.  A weekend of anguish. The first thing I did when I got back was to go and see them and, wow, was I lucky! The waitress found it on the table when I left and gave it to the manager. I was so grateful that I bought them all Lotto (lottery) tickets in true Australian style. They were most surprised as it’s an unheard of “thank you” in France.

Recently however, Black Cat phoned me when she got to work, most upset. She had been listening to music on her iPhone in a crowded metro when the music cut out. Her iPhone had disappeared at the same time of course … The only good thing was that she was able to buy an iPhone 4. Now she has less recognisable black earbuds instead of the characteristic white ones and never gets her iPhone out in the metro.

I was careful about mine for a while but I gradually got blasé again and the next time I saw Chris, we had lunch on the terrace of the Autobus Impérial, which, by the way, I can highly recommend, unlike Vilalys which, despite the honesty of its staff, has become a victim of its success. It used to be very good, but last time I went, the salmon was overcooked and the other things on the Vilalys Platter were not up to scratch.

Anyway, I had put my iPhone on the table next to me to show Chris some photos when an unkempt-looking Spaniard came up and threw a sheet of paper on the table, begging. I waved him away and so did the waiter. He picked up the paper and left. It was only then that I realised he had taken my beloved iPhone with him! Chris was most upset, convinced it was her fault. I assured her however it was entirely due to my own carelessness. I used her mobile to phone Orange to cancel the account, which took quite some time as they asked for my “confidential code” which the recorded message said was on my phone bill. Not exactly something you carry around, is it? Fortunately Relationnel was home for lunch and was able to give it to me. It turned out to be my pin code. Why didn’t they just say so for god’s sake?

After an excellent lunch which included the best entrecôte I’ve eaten in a long time, Chris and I went to the Orange boutique nearby. We were looked after by a very nice girl (surprising for Orange) who organised a new iPhone but in the meantime, the old one had been cancelled which meant I had to go to another boutique at Madeleine. To cut a long story short, despite the price of the iPhone, the damage wasn’t too disastrous. I was able to reduce my call plan and get unlimited SMS, a most definite advantage as I was constantly going above my 30 per month limit. A couple of weeks later, I spent an annoying two hours at the local police station making a declaration so that the phone itself could be disabled (see link below). Good thing I had my iPhone with me!

Apparently, the paper trick is well-known. Our real estate agent in Blois said that she’d only had her iPhone one day when a customer came in, sat down and asked about a place to rent. He, too, put a piece of paper on the table and when he left, there was no more iPhone!

This ever happened to you ?

L’Autobus Impérial: in a small street in the Châtelet Les Halles area,  midday menu at 13.50 euros for main course + café gourmand or 15.50 euros including an entrée + main course or main course + dessert + wine + coffee.

How to disable your iPhone and why: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=426564



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6 thoughts on “iPhone Thieves in Paris”

  1. I wonder what will happen to this iphone at our next lunch together? Best thing would be to leave it at home.
    Last time I was in Paris, I actually saw in gare de l’Est a lady speaking on her iphone when suddenly a youngster ran against her side, snatched her phone and ran away with it.
    So, just be careful!

  2. I’ve heard about the paper trick happening to others so I never have mine out on the table. On the Metro I keep it tucked away and if I stand by the door, I don’t even check messages as it way too easy for someone to grab and run. I’ve even stopped tourists on line 1 standing by the doors, reading their phones and told them it wasn’t a good idea. I know France is rubbing off on me when I tell strangers what to do but I’d rather that than see them be victims of petty crime.

  3. You can never be too careful! I sometimes tell people to look after their belongings if I see the gypsies get in the metro.

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