1) Stand at the edge of a busy street in a touristy area. Euston Road in front of St. Pancras railway station worked for me (see map, above).
2) Remove your phone from your pocket and hold it up to snap a picture of a majestic landmark. Oh hey! Your phone’s gone!
3) Wail and groan as you watch your assailant recede into the distance and passersby pity and judge you. Silently berate yourself for having let your guard down after years of city living and travel experience.
4) File a report with the police. London train station workers can be quite sweet. In my case, they helped organize a rendezvous with the police in the belly of St. Pancras. I watched plainclothes cops melt out of the crowd like dead baseball players emerging from a magical cornfield. It was actually pretty badass and the only redeeming element of the ordeal.
5) Find a working pay phone (hahahahahahahahahaha good luck and get ready to watch your change get eaten while you stand in urine!!)
6) Notify the friend who’s waiting for you across town that you will be late, because you’re stupid and some humans are terrible.
7) Use your friend’s phone to change account passwords, because of course you neither lock nor track your phone.
8) Soothe your ego by finding some seasoned locals who’ve also had their phones stolen, preferably more than once.