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I usually travel alone, which raises security issues. The most serious they are on beaches near lakes - when I want to swim, I have to leave all belonging on the beach.

I've never experienced anything to be stolen neither from me nor from anyone nearby or anyone I know. It is common for people to leave their things. However, are there any statistics or general reports about things stolen from people bathing in Germany? How often that happens? Are that single incidents, as rare as shootings in USA?

In Poland or Slovakia I would never leave a thing unobserved. But Germany is known from the culture of respect for private property.

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This is not a dupe as worded. The other one is about what to do with your stuff. This one doesn't ask that but asks about theft stats at German lakes. –  hippietrail Sep 26 '13 at 4:09
    
I voted to close it as too broat, because there are so many lakes in Germany and if such statistics exist, they may vary from lake to lake –  Dirty-flow Sep 26 '13 at 5:18
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It is excessively broad. Crime statistics like that (if they exist) are bound to be extremely localised in both time and space (e.g. a few years ago there was a flood of Russian gangs stealing property from bathers at Spanish beaches, which happened only at a stretch of a few dozen kilometers of beach in a single province and only lasted for a few weeks, but was enough to seriously upset national crime statistics). –  jwenting Sep 26 '13 at 6:47
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In fact, crime might be localised but publicly available statistics are usually not that localised. But maybe someone knows about regional trends or some specific problem spots and that could be a valuable answer as well. –  Relaxed Sep 26 '13 at 7:37
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If this were a question about ocean beaches in Australia I don't have the stats but I know the answer: It's not safe to leave your valuables unless the beach is desserted and you can see your stuff at all times. –  hippietrail Sep 26 '13 at 10:08

2 Answers 2

As German I can second the opinion of Paul, thieves could be everywhere, I know people from my circle of acquaintances who lost belongings. To protect my belongings:

a) If I am completely alone (ok, this will be seldom the case in Germany), I will hide them, put them in a spot hard to see or, if not possible, put them in a spot where I will see people near them.

b) If there are many people, I choose to put them near the most trustworthy looking people and ask them to have a look at it. You can also buy little waterproof containers to put the most valuable stuff in it and take it with swimming.

From my experience thieves in Germany are really looking for valuables, such stuff as sunmilk etc. are not interesting.

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+1 never had anything stolen on a lake, but would not bet on it. If you are there by car .. you could put everything of value in the car, and take the key with you in a waterproof container. –  Flo May 27 at 19:54

I am German and would not trust the German respect for private property. Thieves are everywhere also in Germany but thieves are not very smart most of the time so maybe this could help:

http://imgur.com/TIXL2

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I've even had my bottle of sunscreen stolen from the beach in Australia before. Sunscreen can be expensive and kleptomaniacs sometimes seem happy to steal anything even if it has little value. –  hippietrail Nov 7 '13 at 17:12
    
It would be maybe better to hide valuables withing socks worn for a week on mountain trip? –  Donaudampfschifffreizeitfahrt Nov 7 '13 at 20:34

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