I would like to warn any potential Paris travellers about the Gard du Nord train station. This is the main Paris train hub connecting London/Paris/Brussels etc.. Eurostar and all others use this train station.
I’m from the US and spent 10 days in UK and 3 in Paris. The Gard du Nord station is very "seedy", from the minute I got off the Eurostar train I put my billfold in my front pocket and tightly secured ALL my luggage. There were lots of Arab/African men, teen to middleage just standing around. No bags, not travelling, not picking anyone up, just standing around watching and looking around. After 3 days in Paris I returned to this station to wait for my train back to London. I was 2 hrs early. BIG MISTAKE!
As I was waiting at a table, an Arab person approached me from the side and started talking French. I told him I didn’t speak French , but he persisted. When i looked back down my camera bag which had my passport inside was GONE! 10 seconds total time. It was a planned setup! I ran to 7-8 policemen nearby who refused to help me because i didnt speak French. They told me to go talk to some other "police" nearby who turned out to be track repair workers. They then advised me to go to the next train station to file a report.
The dectective of immigration for this train station later told me that the police weren’t there "help people", but to deter terrorism. I told her that I thought that was the job of the guys in front of the train station with the jeeps and Machine guns. Coincidently this detective has her purse stolen the same way the previous week from the same station. I told her in America it doesn’t matter what language you speak, if you are robbed the police will help you. She said not from what she’s seen on TV.
Bottomline: stay away from the Gard du Nord station at all costs. If the person in charge of immigration is getting robbed then you know its bad. If you have to go, strap everything you want to AROUND your body, zip up everything and when standing in line keep all luggage in front of you, not to the side.
To those who will doubt, go there and see for self. I felt safer in Mexico.