Sanlitun has long been a spot where the unwary are easily relieved of their phones and wallets, purses and laptops. But a handful of bar and restaurant managers, including at some of the pricier places in the area, tell me the rate of theft is increasing. It’s not that the methods are novel — one routine sees a team of two check a bar and then either grab unattended items or have one partner act as a diversion while another steals — it is that more people are engaged in them. To help deal with the problem, several bar managers told me they are not only warning customers to be careful but also cooperating with each other. For example, when one manager spotted two people casing his joint, he approached and asked them to leave, then contacted other managers to be on the lookout.
Such measures can reduce theft but the surest solution is to protect your belongings and save yourself much bigger hassles. As too many people know, it is bad enough to wake up with a hangover after a big night out. It is far worse to also be short of cash, in need of getting credit cards reissued, or faced with not only having to replace a phone but also all the contact info in it.
To see how stealing is not done, check this video.