Pickpocketing - The Oldest Profession in the World.......... July 06 2015, 0 Comments

The definitive description...from Wikipedia

"Pickpockets are thieves who steal items (often wallets or passports, sometimes other valuables) from people's clothing and bags as they walk in a public place. Pickpocketing is a very old crime that is continually being reinvented. Pickpockets are a hazard in nearly any tourist destination. After all, tourists, by definition, have disposable income, and are likely to be carrying some money and/or valuables."

This is no new craze to hit the streets, but has been evolving in its art form and ingenuity since currency was invented. Picking pockets has been a part of society's murky makeup since man first put on a pair of pants or wore a jacket "with pockets".  Maybe we should blame the fashion designers who first thought that it was necessary for humans to carry around their valuables in some way, other than a bag.  

Let's get real here, pockets loaded up with cash or a wallet normally destroy the line of a fashion statement jacket/shirt/jeans/pants anyway, so what are we doing filling up our pockets?  Men now have "man bags" that were once upon a time the domain of the male gay population, but their practicality soon swayed many a straight man. Women have always tottered around with a handbag of some description, from a compact clutch to the craze of carrying almost duffel bag with a toy poodle sitting in it.  Then, the innovators created the "backpack".  It quickly became a necessity for any self-respecting tourist, not just for school children to carry their books and lunch in, as they went to and fro from school.  

When you consider all of this, maybe the designers have a lot to answer for.  They in fact have perpetuated a population of tourists that tote their valuables with them, creating a horde of potential moving targets that congregate in similar areas of interest.  Any famous tourist spot becomes a veritable picking ground for those devious pick pockets that are swift of hand and fleet of foot. The potential victims themselves, inadvertently providing the perfect cover for an escape route.       

It is one of those irksome, bothersome and totally inconvenient events that can plague any tourist in any city area.  Pick pockets are the hunters that prey on unsuspecting and sometimes gullible tourists who are too busy looking at that amazing street carnival, that beautiful piece of art or just meandering the streets in a holiday haze.

Where do pickpockets skulk? 

- Where there are beggars plaguing tourists in any must see destination.

- Where there are jostling crowds in a noisy environment; such as transport stations (bus/train/festivals/busy pedestrian walkways/cafes).  And, on the bus or train when you may have to stand because of lack of seats. The man behind you that just touched you up much to your indignation, was actually the foil for his partner in crime to slip his hand into your shoulder bag as you quickly turn around in indignation to face the touchy feely creep behind you.  

- ATM machines; having been so careful about discretely hiding your pin number when you punch it into the keyboard, you then turnaround with cash in hand and quite openly put it in your wallet or pocket, in full view of anyone who may be lurking, just waiting for this exact moment, the revelation of where you put it. 

- Open air markets; especially in third world countries where the average tourist would be carrying the equivalent, if not more cash, than a local would make in a year or a lifetime. And most definitely, anywhere near the vicinity of a sign, warning you of this scurrilous activity, in quite often comical detail.