I was watching a TV show yesterday and someone mentioned that you’re not a real New Yorker until you’ve been robbed. I thought about it and I asked around people I know and I’m going to go out on a limb right now and say that you’re not a real Lagosian until you’ve been pick-pocketed.
Almost everyone has experienced that profound feeling of sadness and helplessness when you come down from a bus or emerge from a thronging crowd and discover that your wallet or phone or money has disappeared.
After getting robbed once, most people learn from the experience and devise ways to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I have collated some tips to help avoid getting your pocket picked in Lagos. In case you are lucky enough to have never been robbed, read on for tips to make sure it never happens
1. Be on high alert at all times
I shouldn’t even have to say this tbh. If you are a true Lagosian, your senses are probably already tuned to a higher level as you know everyone in this state is trying to outsmart you so you have to be ready to beat them at their own game.
2. Keep all your valuables together in one place
You need to be organized and make sure you are aware of where everything is at all times when you are walking on the road or boarding the different forms of public transport. It is advisable that you keep your keys, wallet and phone in your handbag and hold on tight. If your things are in your pocket, put your hand on top of that pocket to make sure that they remain there.
3. When in public transport like Danfos and Keke napeps….
Just hold your phone and money in your hand. When everywhere is tight, you may not notice when someone slips your valuables out of your pocket, but there is no way someone can take something from your hands without your knowledge.
4. Try not to fall asleep
We know that a typical Lagos day is very stressful, but it isn’t advisable not to fall asleep and let your guard down before you get home because that is one of the ways your things can be stolen.
5. Use your earphones to attach your phone to yourself
You know all those times that your phone nearly fell down but your earpiece saved it? The same principle applies here. You will feel the tug if someone tries to take your phone while the earphones are plugged in and be alerted to what is happening.
Also, if you are sitting by the window in a vehicle, make sure your phone is out of reach to the people outside because I’ve heard of people getting their phones snatched out of their hands in traffic.
6. Try to have emergency cash somewhere
This is in case you actually have your pocket picked.
Have enough money for a transport up to a point that you can get home from. So that if you get your things stolen, you won’t have to hang around begging and relying on the mercy of strangers. You can put the extra money somewhere that is safe and unreachable, maybe in an inner pocket.
Stay safe and vigilant out there, folks! In the current state of the economy, stealing is on the rise and we can’t afford to have our hard earned money just taken from us.