independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Jane Last: How this ‘street savvy’ woman got ‘dipped’ on the early morning Luas

Pictured at the Press Photographers Association of Ireland Photojournalism Awards 2012, which took place at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin are, Tara mc Ginn, Jane Last, both from the Evening Herald and Edel Kennedy from the Irish Independent. Picture Fennells
Jane Last

I got ‘dipped’ - how many other people were ‘dipped’ this morning?

It didn’t happen on Saturday night after the Ireland vs Wales rugby match – it happened on a Monday morning while travelling to work.

Hell, I wasn’t even enjoying myself.

I hopped on to a very packed Luas Red Line at the Smithfield stop at 8.23am.

I’m normally a cautious person – I never take out my wallet or phone when I’m travelling.

I got on at rush hour – so there was tugging going on everywhere.

I didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary.

Two stops and three minutes later at the Jervis stop, I sat down and notice the zip of my bag had been opened.

And then I realised I had been ‘dipped’ – they had reached into my bag and robbed my wallet.

The rush hour commute on the Luas Red Line provides ample opportunity for pickpockets who do it so fast, you can’t even notice.

However, there’s hope.

I was able to tell gardai the exact four minute timeframe during which it occurred.

And here’s the best bit of the whole story.

A Dublin City Council employee found my wallet dumped in a bin near the Jervis Shopping Centre while doing his job.

And – after he clocked off – he walked up to my workplace to hand it in.

The man disappeared before I had a chance to personally thank him.

But his name is Sean and he works at the Moore Street depot – so thanks Sean, I’ll pay it forward.

Anyway, thanks to Sean’s vigilance, the gardai know where the thieves dumped my wallet.

And there’s this little thing called CCTV – on the Luas and along Jervis Street.

You never know – these lads might be identifiable and could be stopped. 

I know the theft of my wallet is hardly crime of the century.

But the thing is these pickpockets are targeting early morning commuters on the Luas Red Line.

A colleague told me ‘at least you’ve learned something’.

But learned what?

I was cautious while travelling on the Luas this morning – but thanks to the rush-hour jostling, did not feel a pickpocket rifle through my bag for less than a second.

The only thing I’m thinking about here is whether it is advisable to travel on the Luas Red Line during rush hour.

And that’s something I never would have contemplated before.

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