If you're traveling to Paris this summer then make sure you're on the look out for a group of thieves dubbed "hotel rats".
It is well and truly holiday season. Even though there is no longer a specific time of year when people choose to go on holiday, July and August remain the most popular months to take a trip. Not only is the weather at its best at this time of year in most parts of the world, but those with children have to wait until now for their kids to be off school for an extended period of time.
Despite the fact that alternative holiday destinations are becoming more and more popular, the classics are still the places that attract the most tourists. Famous cities such as Rome, London, and New York. Perhaps the most popular city of all though is Paris. However, if you're planning a trip to France's capital this summer, make sure that you heed this warning.
La Parisien recently published an article warning those visiting Paris of "hotel rats". The French newspaper spoke with Tony Mariet, the commissioner of the French capital's anti-scam police unit, who explained what the criminal group is all about. "Some of them mingle with groups of tourists and leave with their luggage and others book rooms in hotels under false names and tour the rooms looking for safes," Mariet explained.
If you're thinking of splashing out for a higher grade hotel upon hearing this news, that might not be the best idea. Apparently, the groups tend to target hotels where they know a higher class of clientele stays and uses a more aggressive approach. Be wary on the busier streets of Paris too. If you find yourself getting needlessly distracted by someone, check that there isn't someone nearby attempting to rifle through your bags and pockets while you're distracted.
What we have to stress is that all the above should not put you off going to Paris. There is crime in every town and city across the world. Plus, the French police force has deployed an extra 5000 officers across the busier parts of Paris this summer with the sole purpose of making sure the city's tourists are safe. There may be more tourist crime in Paris, but those in charge are going above and beyond to remedy that.