Published by FUN MATES PRESS
The "art" of picking pockets is among one of the world's oldest
professions. Author Charles Dickens' Artful Dodger is probably
among the best known pickpockets. However, all are not
juveniles - and all are not males!
The skilled pickpocket is not the seedy character you'd expect
to find lurking in a dark doorway. He (or she) appears about as
average as you and I, in appearance and manner. Because they
make a study of how to "blend" into the crowd, pickpockets
usually remain undetected and can practice their activities with
Pickpockets follow no regular schedule. They operate equally
well during daylight hours as well as at night. And if you have
been led to believe that picking pockets takes place only in
crowds, forget it! The only known fact is that they generally
focus on the public during times when they might be carrying
more money than usual, such as during pre-holiday spending
sprees, store sales, at fairs, carnivals, horse races, gambling
casinos, near bank entrances, etc.
While many pickpockets work alone, there are also teams of two
or there which sometimes involves a female accomplice. A team
with nimble fingers is next to impossible to apprehend. The
first team member removes the valuables from the unsuspecting
victim's pockets. He then secretly passes them on to the next
member who quickly disappears. When a female member is also
employed, she generally engages the victim in conversation to
distract or delay his attention.
Contrary to what most think, experiences pickpockets do not
place their hands all the way into the victim's pockets.
Rather, the expert criminal reaches into the top of the pocket,
takes up a pleat in the lining, then makes a dozen or more tiny
pleats, folding the lining with swift dexterity between his
fingers. The shortening pocket lining moves the valuables
upward so that they emerge at the mouth of the pocket. The
entire act takes place in a second or two.
The best protection for foiling pickpockets is to remove the
opportunity of becoming a victim...
1. The target areas are back trouser pockets, and suitcoat and
sports jacket pockets, located inside and out. A pickpocket who
values his freedom avoids front trouser pockets, and especially
buttoned or zippered pockets.
2. If it is necessary to carry your wallet in an unbuttoned
pants, coat or jacket pocket, be sure it contains only what you
can afford to lose. Keep large sums of money, credit cards,
ID's, etc. in your front pants' pocket or any buttoned or
zippered pocket; keys on a chain attached to your clothing.
3. Never "pat" your pocket to see if your wallet is still there.
This notifies the criminal of the location of your valuables.
4. Larger size "pocket secretaries" are especially inviting to
pickpockets - and relatively easy to steal.
1. Do NOT carry your wallet in your purse. Conceal it in a coat
or sweater pocket where it does not show a bulge.
2. Use a purse that is difficult or time consuming to open.
3. Never let your purse lie unattended on a store counter or in
a grocery shopping cart.
If you have been victimized by a pickpocket, immediately notify
police and give the best description you can.