This post is a story about how my phone was stolen while taking the tube in London last month.
I never expected to be a victim of phone theft as I don’t think anyone would really be ready for this crime at all. It happened to me while on the tube. We are heading to King’s Cross Station as I was going back to the countryside where I work.
A little background of my life in the UK, I often visit London during my long day off. Everything people would hope and dream for in a huge and buzzing city is in London- shopping malls, entertainment, and loads of activities that equal fun. And just because it is London.
City vs Countryside
Compared to London, the countryside where I live in a small and very quiet town. However, to tell you the truth, I love my town life more than London. I prefer the sound of the birds to the cars or ambulances in the morning. Crowded places make me a bit anxious now, I much preferred to be at home actually or in an establishment with only a few people. I sound like an old person now, right? But that’s true.
Going back to the story now. Although I am not very excited to be in cities anymore, a bit of fun and a change in scenery from time to time would not hurt me at all. Long days and nights at work in a week can be stressful. So the thought of traveling to a new place and discovering new spots gives me the much-needed motivation to carry on.
Just the experience of taking a train, for instance, gives me a sense of excitement. Something to look forward to after a stressful shift at work.
The Day it happened.
Anyway, the bf and I are taking the tube to King’s Cross as I have to take the train back to town that afternoon. The tube or what is the London Underground is the most convenient and fastest way of public transportation in the city. From where we were it would take 20 minutes until we arrive at Kings Cross Station. This station is where you can take connecting trains all around the country.
Since there were no available seats inside we both decided to stand. We were in a deep conversation at that time not minding our surroundings and the people coming in and out of the train. And I was close to the door so if anyone decides to do an evil plan, it was very easy to just take the phone and head out.
A big mistake on my part was that I put my phone inside my coat pocket without zipping it in. From someone who had been a victim of phone theft many times in the past, I am fully aware that putting it in that area was a high risk. So I rarely do it. I usually put it in my bag or hold it in my hand.
If I have to put it in an item of clothing like a jacket or coat, I would make sure that it has a zipper on or some kind of a lock. I know I have learned my lessons. Apparently, not enough though.
For some reason though, that day I was a bit relaxed in thinking that no one would do something terrible to other people. I was so trusting also the fact that I was not alone. Maybe I was also hopeful that no one would steal something not theirs in a city like London.
That of course was not true. Even in London, it can still happen. I have heard from previous colleagues their experiences of their phones being stolen in London and one was while in Paris. Therefore, this crime occurs everywhere. We should all be careful and mindful of our belongings at all times.
A girl on the train.
I am just going to share this as well. I might be wrong but there was just this gut feeling that this certain ‘girl’ on the train took my phone. As far as my memory went that day, nobody has truly moved closer to my personal space except the bf and this girl. At that time, I didn’t mind because I know it was busy and people are coming on the train.
This girl at one point I had to look through because she looked messy and untidy in terms of her clothing. She was young probably a teenager. And in my peripheral view, she was looking at me a few times. Then again, I ignored it because she could just have been looking at my hair or eyeglasses. Nothing to be concerned about.
Midway through the ride, I had this feeling of wanting to check my phone. Because it is underground, there is no signal or WIFI except in stations. Then, of course, the phone was not there anymore.
I panicked. You know that feeling when something was missing but you are sure was just there a minute ago. That was how I felt. I checked everywhere, pockets and bags and the bf’s as well. Again, it could not be found. In my mind, I was alarmed saying ‘Oh no, MY PHONE WAS STOLEN!”.
The train was heading to Covent Garden, the girl was still there. I told the bf about how I felt the culprit could be her. We were trying to ring the phone but since there is no signal, it was unsuccessful. The bf said we will follow where she stops so if there will be signal; when we ring it again, my phone will make a sound. The tricky part was we couldn’t just confront people or search them if we have no proof that they actually took it.
I was panicking.
I was distressed and panicking at this moment. The time the door opened, this girl ran and so we ran and followed her outside as well. She was in a hurry making a huge gap between us.
The bf caught up to her and ask her if she saw my phone and she said no and then ran off again. There is really nothing we can do with her because what if what she was saying is true, then we are just accusing her of something she did not do. And there can be legal repercussions.
On the other hand, she could be truly guilty and was running away as fast as possible because she didn’t want to be caught.
After realizing that I will never see my phone ever, we reported it to the tube staff who advised us to report it to the police. There is also a website for Lost & Found in the tube which I filled out in case they will find my phone somewhere.
On the police website, they said they will contact me within 48 hours but I heard nothing until today. I guess there is really nothing they can do about mobile phone theft.
A sad day.
How can a very nice happy day turn bad in just a matter of minutes? I was relaxed and happy that morning but after the tube ride, I was teary-eyed. I didn’t cry with tears though, just keep reminding myself that it was just a thing. That it can be replaced, much worse could have happened to me.
After the incident, the first thing I thought was my bank account link to my phone so I had to go to my bank to have it deactivated on my old phone. My sim card was changed for free by EE which was a good thing people can still contact me with the same number. In my other accounts, I also had to change passwords including my social media accounts and emails.
Security & Photos
My phone had a pin and biometrics for security but I wanted to be sure. I also have a note saved for all my account logins because they were just too many to remember.
Luckily, I made a strategy of writing the passwords partially encrypted. Instead of characters, I put asterisks. For example, if my password is Premium1, on my note it would show Pre*****.
What I felt most very sad about were my photos and the memories I have. I made a post about my Huawei phone in 2018. I loved that phone. It worked for me for three years and I had no complaints. It charges super fast. Ultimately, it made my life easier over the past years and I will miss it terribly.
There are two lessons for me- one is to always be vigilant with the people around me and to make sure that my belongings are always safe with me. I would also add the importance of securing your phone with all the possible features the phone can offer, including biometrics, pin, face id, etc. I’m lucky my bank accounts are locked, otherwise, I will be in much trouble.
That is all for now. I hope you are all safe and well.