Today, during a transfer from Gostiny Dvor to Nevskiy Prospect metro stations I lost my wallet. I knew something was wrong when several young men carried me into the car pushing and shoving as if there was a huge crowd behind me. But it was past rush hours – 10:35 AM, and no crowds…
To keep my balance, I had to grab the overhead rail and it was only later that I checked if my wallet was still in the right front pocket of my jeans. It wasn’t, and then I saw all five of those motherfuckers rushing out of the car just before the doors closed.
I pushed the button to talk to the engineer, briefly described what happened, and he said I must report it to the police at the next station. I did, and was directed to the Head office of Metro Police, which luckily was at Primorskaya station. The cop who took my report took me to the escalator because I didn’t have any money or passes… A very strange feeling. When I reached the precinct, the detective assigned to me wasn’t available and I went home to use my computer to report my stolen credit and debit cards.
I first checked my online statements and was horrified to see more than $6000.00 worth of charges on my CapitalOne Visa. My checking account at Citibank was zeroed as well. I had about 2 grand there. The AmEx card was okay but I still called the bank to cancel it (another proof that American Express is the best card for travellers).
Several minutes on the phone with customer service folks fixed the problems, I will get the replacement cards mailed to me in Russia by May 21-23. The detective called my phone number, I made screenshots of the charges and went back to the Police station again.
The cop looked as if he was one of the robbers – bald, athletic, black leather jacket and designer jeans. He met me in the lobby and took me to his office. First, he handed me my wallet.
“They get rid of the physical incriminating evidence right away. We found it in the escalator supervisor booth”.
Inside the wallet was my Florida Drivers License, Lenta Supermarket discount card, a couple of my business cards and my dental appointment card. Cash gone, naturally (seven thousand rubles, equal to 225 USD), but at least I don’t need to buy another wallet.
Welcome home, dude. You are a real Russian now!
P.S. Those jerks don’t realize how well we are protected. My card issuer emailed me a warning message instantly. The criminals used the card to purchase several high-eng smartphones at a Svyaznoi store.
I am communicating with Citi and CapitalOne to trace the POS terminal(s), from which charges were made. If we know the exact location and time, chances are the surveillance video tapes can help identify the thieves.