Fethiye’s police and security forces excelled last week when they swiftly apprehended a young man who was rapidly becoming a menace on the streets for unsuspecting tourists and expats alike.
The one man mini crimewave began when a local expat woman in the Tasyaka area of Fethiye had her handbag taken from right off her arm as she walked along the roadside.
Warnings were quickly shared on the local social media expat groups to be on the lookout and be aware.
Forewarned but not forearmed!
Even though the young mans next target had read the posts, she did not have them in the forefront of her mind whilst walking and chatting with a friend as they headed into town along street 587 in the Tuzla area of Fethiye.
Fethiye Times spoke to her friend who was by her side during the incident to find out what happened.
The young man had made a few passes in front of the ladies, and one had noticed him in his distinctive blue and yellow fenerbahce shorts, she was about to remark that he must be lost when she found her friend being pushed against her.
Both women immediately assumed that she had been run into by accident, but as the scooter sped off it was clear that he now had her handbag!
Almost instantly the streets were filled with concerned neighbours, and a call to the police quickly made.
Minutes later the Fethiye Police motorcycle division arrived, took statements and descriptions and checked the nearest CCTV cameras, which are dotted around the town, for clues.
After being declared fit by the local hospital, the two ladies then gave their detailed statements at the police station, bank cards and phone accounts were cancelled, and locks changed at the house.
Travelling on the money
On Saturday, the bag grabber performed the same act again, but now a little further afield in the popular Turkish holiday resort of Oludeniz from a female holiday maker.
Again concerned locals and hotel staff were quickly on the scene to raise the authorities and support the woman with tea and sympathy.
The Oludeniz Jandarma were on the case immediately and caught the thief in no time and delivered him and his scooter to the Fethiye police station.
“My friend and I were now asked to go back to the police station to see if we were able to identify the man”.
Even though they had not seen his face, he was still wearing the football shorts and also the helmet and his chunky lower legs were all as the women had described.
They were now able to see that he was a young man, and it certainly made it easier to see him and know he was now in custody.
The man admitted the crimes, and some property was recovered, although he had dumped most of the stuff and just kept the money in purses.
“We cannot praise the efforts and attentions of the Fethiye Police enough.”
“Fethiye has always felt a safe place to walk around, even as a lone female, and seeing the boys in blue taking such swift action when these opportunistic and desperate souls try to follow a life of crime was both amazing and very reassuring.”
What’s in your bag?
While talking, it did make us think though, how much of our lives we carry around in our handbags!
We both had a look and considered what was in them that we needed and what would be irreplaceable or at least massively inconvenient to replace if lost.
We can easily have our purses and bags stolen, or even just leave them on a bus in any place in the world, so it is worth just thinking about what’s on you before you leave the house.
We came up with these tips, maybe you have a few suggestions you could add?
Our top six tips:
- Leave original documents (like ID cards, passports etc) in a safe place and have either a paper photocopy or take a picture with your smartphone. If you have to produce ID you can initially use the copy.
- Have a lock code on your smartphone.
- Have just the money/ bank cards you think you’ll need in your purse.
- Go through your bank cards and other papers and make a list of card numbers and telephone numbers that you would need to contact if you lost them. If you store this both at home and electronically on cloud storage like Dropbox, which can then be logged into and retrieved as soon as you can get a wifi connection this will mean you can get cards stopped rapidly.
- Regularly copy, move or share photos taken on your smartphone with another device, or Facebook, Flickr etc. one of the most upsetting parts of losing your stuff is losing photos of friends and family that can never be replaced.
- If you carry house keys, try not to have anything with your address on with them.
Keep your wits about you
Of course, we neither can, nor want, to have to walk around on high alert all the time, especially when on holiday – it’s too exhausting, but it is worth training ourselves to be questioning, curious and alert to our surroundings when out and about.