Think about how magicians would make things vanish out of thin air, a classic trick that always fills children with wonder. The magician might hold an object in front of them, then draw the kids’ focus away from the object as they cleverly hide it from view. A similar technique is used by pickpockets to trick adults—the distraction.
By taking advantage of where the target puts their attention, thus controlling their blind spot, they get away with their “tricks” in the background. Pickpockets do this in teams. One or two people are assigned to distract the target, whether it’s causing a commotion, making a scene, or selling a flashy item. When the target is distracted and preoccupied, another member swoops into the blind spot. Someone introduces something sudden or bright, while another gets to your belongings.
Pickpocketing is a very opportunistic scheme because it takes advantage of a target’s altered awareness, as this video shows. How can we, as potential targets, prevent this from happening to us, then? And when we go on vacation as tourists—the pickpocket’s favorite target—how can we ensure the safety of our valuables? After all, no one wants to lose their passport, IDs, and credit cards, especially when they’re far away from home.
Make yourself less of a target
If you’re spaced out, distracted, preoccupied, or vulnerable in any way, it shows. Pickpockets are going to gauge your weak points such as an exposed back pocket, or a half-opened bag. They are going to look at your body language and what you’re engrossed in. Are you busy taking pictures or browsing through items in a public shop? They want your focus to be anywhere other than your stuff, and the more focused you are, the more you become a target. So make sure that you pay attention to your surroundings.
Rob them of the opportunity
Even when we look focused and attentive, we can’t guarantee the safety of our items. Crafty pickpockets will find a way by exploiting a weakness well within our control—our gear and how we use it. If we aren’t well prepared and our current arsenal of storage utilities is easily exploitable, they can take advantage of us.
By having secure traveling gear for your valuables, like the items from the Clever Travel Companion, you can worry less about the possibility of being targeted and instead engage fully in your vacation. Take all the pictures, buy those souvenirs, create memories to cherish. If they can’t tell where your credit cards, passport, and mobile devices are, they won’t even try. They’d put you off the target list.
It is easy to pickpocket a mark that underestimates their surroundings by being unprepared. On the other hand, if a team of pickpockets finds it difficult or impossible to figure out your defenses, they won’t pounce. In the first place, opportunists rely heavily on precise calculations.
Enjoy your vacation with secure gear, minimal worries, and maximum pickpocket resistance. Leave them wondering and away from your stuff.