While discussing a meetup venue, one person said that their mother suggested they shouldn't take their dolls there because it was a bad neighbourhood. While that particular venue is actually in an artists' walk in a now-gentrified location, it got me thinking about dolly safety and how much we should worry about having a doll stolen at a meetup in a public space. Looking at the various possible causes of theft, how likely is each one? -Passerby stealing dolls because they're expensive. This is the main worry when people suggest "taking dolls to a bad neighbourhood". On the other hand, dolls aren't laptops; most people have no idea they're worth a lot. Even if they guess from the craftsmanship that the dolls were expensive items, they wouldn't know where to go to resell a doll. If they put it on ebay, unless they already knew all about BJD and what search terms to provide, no interested parties would find it. Stealing a doll is a lot of risk for an item that the criminal isn't sure how to turn into profit, and how likely is it that some random thug would know how to succesfully resell a doll? So I think this isn't a very realistic fear, not until BJD awareness goes mainstream. -Passerby stealing a doll because they want to keep it. The chances that a random BJD collector will happen to walk by are fairly low. Hypothetically, someone might decide they want it because it's pretty, or for their child, not knowing what it is. In our experience, though, is that what people do? If they don't know how expensive it is, they'd most likely just ask us where we got it. If they do realise it's expensive, perhaps they'd think of stealing it, but would they go to so much risk for an item they realise is valuable just because they want it? It's certainly possible, but it seems unlikely that some random passerby, unaffiliated with the group, would just happen to want a doll badly enough to steal it. -Passerby stealing a doll as a prank, for irony, or because they hate dolls. This sounds to me like the most probable scenario for theft: someone who doesn't realise how much these dolls are worth, or respect that they might mean something to someone, might think it's no big deal to steal a doll. I think this is equally likely to happen in a good neighbourhood or a bad one: someone just not thinking through the fact that taking a doll is stealing and therefore a serious crime. Destructive teenagers, immature adults, people who just don't realise-- or care-- that a doll might be precious to its owner, and not something they should just goof around with as if it didn't matter. -People from our own community. I hate to bring that one up, but it's possible. However, it seems fairly unlikely, because of the sense of community and the desire to socialise acceptably at a meetup. All the doll people I've met have been super-nice so far. Moreover, we all face the same risk of our dolls being taken; at the meetups I've attended, people sort of watched out for each other's dolls as if they were babysitting each other's kids. Someone was always keeping an eye on the dolls as a group. On the other hand, it's not impossible either. I've heard of someone having a doll stolen at Dolpa. And our own community actually knows what they're worth, has reason to want them, and knows how to resell them as well. I'm not saying we should distrust each other; I'm just not leaving the possibility out. The thing with this is that it could happen at a private meetup as well as a public one, or in any kind of space. -Absent-mindedness. It's not really theft because there's no intent, but I'm always worried that someday I'm going to leave a prop or a wig or something behind. A public venue means a higher chance that a lost item will never be seen again, whereas at least if it's in someone's home, someone's probably going to find it afterward and can return it to you. On the other hand, again, neighbourhood doesn't make a difference. So... it looks to me like a bad neighbourhood doesn't sound like an especially risky place to bring one's dolls. (Of course, one's car, wallet, and other such things that might come along to a doll meet are a separate matter.) There is risk, but the causes of risk that sound most likely are probably unrelated to the type of neighbourhood; the traditional "crime in a tough neighbourhood" worries aren't as likely to apply to dolls. We may have spent a lot of money and they may be our treasured possessions, but from an outsider's perspective, they aren't big-ticket items. Ultimately, too, the best way to keep something from getting stolen is not to let it out of your sight. Thoughts? Perspectives I may have missed? Experiences from anyone who's had a doll stolen?