17 March 2008


Pickpocketing is one of the oldest and most widespread crimes in the world. The appeal is its relative safety: A skilled pickpocket can make off with just as much money as an armed robber, without much danger of confrontation or risk of being identified in a line-up. By the time the victim realizes what's happened, the pickpocket is long gone. And since no weapons are involved, pickpockets who do get caught face minimal jail time.

The pickpocket appears to be engrossed in a magazine while sneaking a hand from under his jacket into the mark's purse.

The SANDWICH technique

Getting a wallet out of somebody's pocket or purse is a little more difficult because the pickpocket has to touch the mark or something close to the mark's body. The basic approach is to mask the illegal contact with expected, benign contact.

In a crowded subway car, for example, it's normal for strangers to press against you, so you don't notice something pressing against your pocket or purse. If the pickpocket is good, you never feel a thing. Usually, pickpockets carry jackets or newspapers to cover their hands.

The same approach works in less crowded areas as well. A pickpocket team might casually sandwich you between them in order to press against your body. In a standard scheme, the "stall" suddenly stops in front of the mark so that the mark bumps into her. The "pick" pretends to accidentally bump into the mark from behind and graciously apologizes while removing the mark's wallet. It might seem strange that the stall suddenly stopped, but the pick seems completely innocent, so the mark doesn't notice she's been robbed.


Just as in a magic show, the major method at work here is distraction. Human beings usually focus their attention on one thing, so if you give them anything interesting to focus on, they won't pay attention to their money and valuables.

One of the most effective distractions is sex: An attractive woman, usually pretending to be drunk, will touch an unsuspecting man affectionately, and lift his wallet or watch while he's distracted.

Some pickpockets play on compassion in their distractions. They "accidentally" drop change or shopping bags on the ground so that someone will stop to help them. While the mark is kneeling on the ground with the first pickpocket, another member of the team steals his or her wallet. At the beach, one member of the team may pretend to be in trouble in the water. When the mark runs in to help out, another member of the team walks off with whatever the mark has left on
the beach.

One member of the pickpocket team pretends to drop what she's carrying. When the mark stoops to help, the second pickpocket lifts her wallet from her purse.

Sometimes, pickpockets don't want to distract you from your money; they want to bring your attention to it. For example, one member of a pickpocket team might yell out "Somebody just stole my wallet!" in a crowded subway station. Most people's automatic reaction is to make sure they still have their own wallet and valuables, so they'll pat whatever pocket it's in. This makes the pickpockets' job a lot easier -- it shows them exactly where to look. Pickpockets will also stake out ATMs or cash registers and watch where people put their money. Pickpockets will also "fan" victims -- casually brush by to feel where the mark's wallet is before trying to steal it.

So take note of all these tricks and save yourself from pickpocketers


Post a Comment

Blog Archive

web counter

Select your language

Edited by Youngistan and template from Dicas Blogger
2009 ©Youngistan | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer: Some contents in this blog are either obtained, discovered or found in the public domain and are intended for educational purposes only.We claim no credit for any visual contents, images, or videos unless otherwise noted. If you own rights to any of the contents featured and do not wish them to appear here, please contact us and they will be promptly removed.