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Koh Samui is normally a very safe place to live, or visit, and crime here is relatively low, however recently, there has been a spate of bag snatching. The bag snatchers tend to operate at night and they are snatching bags from people riding motorbikes. The snatchers operate in pairs and have no concern for your safety. They commit their crime by riding up adjacent to your bike, no matter what speed you are doing, and the passenger will grab your bag and take off at high speed. This crime cannot only cause you to lose valuable items, along with your bag such as money, credit cards, phone, cameras, driving licenses and keys to your home and car but can also result in you having a nasty accident if you struggle to hold onto your bag, they will do their best to kick you off your bike.
Having your bag snatched is a very traumatic experience as well as very inconvenient when you have to replace everything you have lost. It can also be very costly. In order to prevent this crime it is essential that you do not ride around on a bike as a driver, or passenger, with your shoulder bag on your shoulder. Many bikes on the island have ample space under the seat where you can safely store you bag. If you have a front basket make sure you cover it with a net or some other snatch prevention device. If you have no space under the seat and you do not have a covered basket another option is to put you bag by your feet on bike models that allow it, or tuck your bag between you and the driver of the bike in such a way the strap is not showing. If you have no option but to keep your bag on your shoulder then wear a shirt of jacket over the top so the strap cannot be grabbed. You can also loop your bag across your shoulder. If you are victim to bag snatchers, report the crime to the police and, if possible, make a note of the criminal’s bike number. Always keep a copy of your passport in a safe place, emergency numbers and cash and, if possible, keep all your valuables in a safe rather than your handbag and do not carry around large amounts of money.