How To Protect Yourself From Pick
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 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 little hindrance.
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 three 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 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, experienced pickpockets
don’t place their hands all the way into the victims
pockets. Rather, the expert criminal reaches into the
top of the pocket, takes up a pleat in the lining, then
makes a dozen or so 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
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 zipped
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
pocket or any buttoned or zipped pocket; keys an a
chain attached to your clothing.
Never “pat” your pocket to see if your wallet is
still there. This notifies the criminal of the
location of your valuables.
Larger size “pocket secretaries” are especially
inviting to pickpockets – and relatively easy to
Do NOT carry your wallet in your purse. Conceal it
in a coat or sweater pocket where it doesn’t show a
Use a purse that is difficult or time consuming to
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