Even though the thieves were only interested in cash, they were professionals, very smooth. I’m surprised that the police don’t do more to protect tourists and to keep the city high on the popularity chart, but during my Euro volunteer training, I learned that police activity here is different than what I’m used to. It seems to generally be much too passive and occasionally much too brutal. If I can now spot the tram police before they pull out their credentials, you’d think law enforcement officers could spot a team of pickpockets.
I’m sure Poland is no more prone to pickpockets that any other place, but remember when you’re in crowded touristy places in the big cities to take extra care. Our dentist lost his wallet to a pickpocket in the Warsaw train station, and looking back he said that he’s knows exactly when it happened. There may be pickpockets in Krakow and Warsaw, but I’ve been fortunate enough to miss them in places like New York City.
Where ever you’re headed, take good care!
PS – last year, I registered online with the US Embassy in Warsaw. I get emails about security concerns, and it made my contact information available to the workers at the consulate. Apparently, the contact information I supplied with my resident card application isn’t available to them. So if you’re living or spending extended time abroad, be sure to register with your embassy!