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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Devices For Luggage? 293

New submitter SkinnyFatSmoothNeck writes "I'll be taking a long train ride in the coming month and I'm looking for ideas and recommendations on anti-theft devices to be used for carry-on luggage. The obvious precautions are always taken: never letting the bag out my sight, wrapping the bag strap around my leg while stowed and so on. But as this is a long ride, there will be a couple of nights involved. The first thing that came to my mind is a two-part device that triggers based on a specified proximity and is controlled from a remote (ie.: the device would be placed inside the bag and trigger a loud alarm if it strays outside of range). Perhaps a more advanced, albeit more expensive, device could also include GPS tracking. But beyond that, what other creative, ingenious or downright sensible solutions do you have to offer?"
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Devices For Luggage?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:41PM (#42630919)

    Long piece of String?

  • by jd2112 ( 1535857 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:43PM (#42630931)
    Any security device would be considered a bomb by the TSA and dealt with accordingly.
  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:55PM (#42631029) Journal

    Take care that if its stolen it will not be bad for you.

  • Re:decoy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ajlowe ( 2653007 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:55PM (#42631031)
    Better yet, just use old grungy looking luggage. If your luggage appears to be the least valuable luggage on the train, it will be stolen last. I tend to dress down when I travel because it is more comfortable and it makes me a less desirable target. OK, mainly because it is comfortable :)
  • Get a room. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 245670 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:00PM (#42631077)

    I've taken long train trips. If I expect to have to sleep, I get a room in a sleeper car. If you've got the money to spend on some sort of GPS tracking system and proximity alarm, you can afford a sleeper car. If you can't afford that, lock the zippers, tie the bag(s) to your leg and dream about the day when you can afford to travel in comfort. A well-designed travel bag will be configured so all of the zippers can come together in one location and be locked with a single lock. Even my super fancy camera/laptop bag with 5 external zippered pockets can be locked with two locks.

  • Insurance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s4ltyd0g ( 452701 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:34PM (#42631273)

    Can't you just take out insurance on your luggage and enjoy the trip? It it gets stolen, you'll get new gear.


  • Re:..Blend in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:35PM (#42631277)
    I've traveled enough to know that most people are really too obvious. You don't need to outrun the lion. You just need to be faster than the slowest person.

    I've been with people who flash money. When you pay for something, make sure it looks like you aren't carrying much. Don't pull out your whole bank roll and peel off a bill. Keep your money in two piles and don't ever show the one with the big bills in public.

    Don't act like a confused tourist. My parents used to stand on a busy street corner and unfold a map. Everyone for blocks in four directions could see the map. Even at 15 I knew we were an instant target. You can walk 20 feet down one block and lean against a wall, so far fewer people will see you. Also, have you map folded right before hand so you can consult it without opening the entire thing in public. That said, don't dodge down an alley to check your map. You want some people to see you for safety.

    Don't act lost even when you are. Instead of turning around, just walk around the block or go in a shop and leave going the back the other way, fewer people will notice.

    Thieves also work in groups. Be careful when there's an unreasonable distraction. That guy who won't leave you alone might have someone else taking your bag.

    Watch out for strange touches. If someone bumps your backpack or pulls at your clothes they may be trying to hide other things. I've scared a few pickpockets by spinning around at minor touching.

    Assume you will be robbed and minimize your losses. I've been lucky, but most people I know have been hit once or twice.

    If you suspect someone is a shark, they probably are. Once they target you, they can be hard to shake.

    Sorry for the rambling, but in short, just make sure you aren't the dumbest tourist in the area and you'll be fine.
  • by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:49PM (#42631691)

    If he's taking a multi-day train trip, it's almost certainly not in the US (may God have mercy on his soul if it is).

  • by Dexter Herbivore ( 1322345 ) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @03:42AM (#42632637) Journal
    The simple solutions are often the best. I've previously used a pacsafe [] cage, which is a wire cover for your bag that you can padlock to a strut or bar on the luggage rack.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen