Locks on backpacks are worthless!
Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
94Trip End Jul 30, 2010
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After a fantastic day yesterday driving through the Andes, we arrived at the B+B, checked in and went to shower. Except when I went to open my bag, I saw that it had been tampered with...
My security seals were gone, my clips were all open and my zippers were in different spots to where I usually put them. My heart was pounding.
The only thing I thought was missing was my hairdryer, nooooooooooo!!!!!
Over the next twenty minutes I kept realising what else was gone - my handbag, my belt, camera bag and our first aid kit... Gus said his bag looked fine and went to shower. Only to return to realise that he had stuff missing too! Our electronics bag which includes all of our cables, cords, charges etc that are essential to charging our phone, ipod, camera and also connecting them to our computer! His Leatherman multi-purpose knife and one of our headlamps were also missing.
Dumfounded, we starting putting a list together of everything missing. Whilst we were doing this Marta came in and explained in her best English that she had called the tourist police. They came to the house an hour later.
During our four hour stint with the police we tried to work out when it had happened and how...
We had a three hour wait at the Chilean-Argentine boarder. Our packs stayed in the hold, but anyone could have slipped inside the hold, tampered with our pack then slipped out without anyone knowing.
We think, and I reinforce the word think! that something dodgy is going on at the boarder... The last check with coming into Argentina is a bag scan and they randomly search two or three bags with every bus that passes through. They took everyone’s bags off the bus, except ours.
We thought this was strange but shrugged and thought nothing more of it.
As we got onto the bus, I saw the main security dude accept a bundle of cash from someone and he went to his office and was separating them into piles. Five piles... Strangely, there were five security people.
When we arrived into Mendoza, the bag guy ripped off the tags to our bags and insisted that he kept our 'bag store’ receipt. He didn’t do this with anyone else.
They had entered my bag via my bottom zip which didn’t have a lock, stupid I know. But when your bag is stowed in a ‘security’ hold on a top-notch bus, one doesn’t expect to have stuff taken from it. Lesson learnt!
I thought that they had entered my top compartment via the bottom as there is a drawstring and one could simply shoving a hand up the bag and pulling out whatever they could. But for some reason the zipper on my main compartment was damaged and I couldn’t open it completely.
We couldn’t work out how they got into Gus’ bag. But we worked it out this morning; they entered the main compartment by simply manipulating the zipper and the lock. See video!
The long of the short is that locks on packs are worthless! They are only a deterrent. If someone has the time, they can easily get into a pack.
We were so stupid to not put our pac-safes, which is a wire cover, on our bags.
So we made a statement, we have a report, we called our insurance... They want receipts. Original ones at that and everything is in storage and we probably didn’t keep the receipt for everything.
It’s a pain in the pooper!
Where there real pain comes from is that we now need to replace things that we had found really useful on the road (like my hairdryer and Gus’s clippers) or are going to be painful (Nokia charger, i-pod charger) to get in our broken Spanish. It is also the fact that someone that we do not know has been in our bags, with their grubby grimey hands on our stuff. Blaahh!