I first wanted to put this on my previous post, but I find this a very important topic, so I made a separate post for it. Why? Because too much stuff gets stolen, that's why!
Pay attention when going to events
Similar to what I noticed at YCS Bochum & Lille, once again lots of cards and money got stolen at YCS Brussels.
One friend got his Prophecy deck stolen (ouch, costly). I overheard of an Antwerp player (a friend of Lithium) who got his wallet stolen; and a Big Eye & Dragosack was taken from the binder from another friend of mine. And that's just from the players I personally know.
Luckily for the last friend, we were able to identify and catch the thieves, and my friend got his two cards back (kudos to Konami and the Security for the intervention here). But at this moment, I didn't hear anything on the wallet or the Prophecy deck (:-/ ).
If you go to a big event (genre qualifier, YCS, nationals or similar)...
- Pay attention to everything you own: your deck, playmats and binders, but also your wallet.
- Don't leave your backpack open on the floor and don't leave playmats or decks unattended. Frequently check if you still have everything in your possession. Don't be paranoid about it, just do a regular check.
- Don't trade with multiple people at the same time, so you can keep an eye on the person you're trading with.
- If you can put all your cards-for-trade in 1 binder, do so. It's easier to keep track of 1 big binder, rather than multiple smaller ones.
- Memorize the face of the people you trade with (I'm guilty of not doing this). If certain cards just "disappeared", you should know who the perp is.
- If you sell cards, keep track of the money they give you so that it doesn't "disappear" (more than just stealing, people often misplace money/cards or accidentally throw it/them away with empty booster wrappers or trash).
- Don't keep too much money in your wallet. I know this is not always possible if you just sold a bunch of cards for big bucks.
- Play with unique deck boxes or mark them to make them visibly stand out. If a box "disappears", this makes it easier to identify it afterwards.
- Don't get distracted during trades. It's easy for thieves to swipe cards away if you're not paying attention to what's going on.
- Recognize suspicious behavior. If people are changing seats during trades, talk silently with friends over the content of the binder, act nervous, etc; you should pay attention to what's going on.
Doing things like these should not make you paranoid or enjoy an event less. But if you pay attention, it will help prevent you from running into these situations.
But if your stuff does get stolen...
- Keep yourself and/or your friends calm, call security instead. The worst thing that can happen is that a friend (or you) becomes aggressive after his stuff gets stolen and starts attacking possible thieves. If you're violent, you will be banned from the event, nothing will be resolved and the perps may walk away freely as victims instead.
- Don't be afraid to tell security/staff at the event if you have stuff stolen and if you suspect certain people. If you don't say anything, you will not retrieve anything and the perps will go unpunished.
- Give accurate descriptions of what disappeared. Having cards/boxes/etc that visibly stand out or are unique helps to retrieve the stolen goods. Tell your friends to look for the unique items.
And if you (for some reason) overhear people boasting about stuff they stole; don't turn a blind eye. Try to hear what cards/items they're boasting about and tell the staff/security what you overheard. If the description matches stuff that got stolen earlier, it may return to its rightful owner this way.
Until next time, V out.