Last night on the Amazing Race episode, Moscow leg - the band members Abba and James had to deal with a very unfortunate situation. The taxi they hired took off with all of their belongings - including passport and pocket money! This cost them to come in last place and were therefore eliminated from the race.
Now this is quite a horrible experience for one traveling aboard. To lose one's passport is the ultimate nightmare situation.
This brings back to mind an incident my sister and I faced when we were in Paris way back in 1998. We were exploring an antique shop that required us to go down a flight of narrow stairs. After we were done, my sister went ahead of me to climb the stairs back up to exit the store. I followed her but once we were back on the street, she started running after a woman. I was shocked but I also ran after her. It appears that the woman (an Armenian from the looks of her) was a pickpocket. She had grabbed my sister's wallet and passport which was attached to the purse from her backpack.
It is good my sister felt the actual snatching as her backpack felt lighter. So we accosted the woman and in rapid broken French we begged her to just return the passport and she could keep the wallet. She refused and even tried to run off but we were adamant and won't let her go, we were relentless. Then after a few minutes, her 'accomplice' a shabby looking guy came back and returned my sister's wallet along with her passport. Everything was still intact, money and credit cards.
Phew we breathed a sigh of relief as we were saved the trouble of making a police report, then going to the Embassy to get a new passport issued. It was already Friday evening by then so the Embassy would have been closed and we would have to rebook our flight and be forced to extend our stay in Paris.
But I believe a guardian angel was watching over us so we weren't harmed during the incident and we got the stolen items back intact!