The Hug that Steals

The Hug that Steals

A great night out with your friends after a long work week often involves alcohol. At least for a few hours, you can forget about being a responsible adult and just enjoy yourself. Soon enough, you’re more than a little buzzed, probably oversharing, and you’re not entirely sure what’s going on around you. Do you care? Not really.

But you should.

This is what alcohol does—it lowers your defenses, allowing you to forget some of your everyday anxieties so you can just relax and live in the now. The thing is, it also makes you vulnerable to all kinds of dangerous situations. And that includes getting pickpocketed.

Pickpockets like drunken targets. For one thing, it’s easy to pretend to be drunk. For another, being the only person who’s sober in a room full of people well under the influence gives them power. At a bar, everyone is too busy partying to notice that they’re getting robbed. They’re all trying to talk over the loud music. They’re paying less attention to who they’re bumping into. They’re all preoccupied, doing things they’re probably going to regret the next day. To the pickpocket, all of these people are potential—and easy—targets.

One technique that pickpockets use against targets who are intoxicated is the “hugger mugger.” The trick can be summarized in the following steps:

  • Look for a vulnerable target.
  • Pretend to be drunk, then act as if you’ve lost your balance. “Hug” the target as you pretend to steady yourself.
  • As they’re focused on keeping you upright, snag their wallet from their back pocket.
  • Apologize and walk away with their belongings. 
  • Vanish into the crowd before they notice that their valuables are missing.

If that’s done in a sober space, it would be very obvious and risky for the pickpocket. At a bar, though, the trick is bound to work perfectly. 

So, how can we, as people who like to enjoy some company with a couple of drinks, avoid getting hugged and mugged? Here are some tips:

  1. Choose a spot in the venue where your blind spot is secure and your field of vision is wide. For example, stand somewhere with your back against a wall. 
  2. Don’t put your stuff in your back pocket. Muggers and pickpockets rely on exposed weaknesses. The back pocket is a favorite. 
  3. Improvise on how you store your valuables. You can use clever gear to make sure you’re hard to read as a target, even if you’re drinking. 

How you store your valuables affects the pickpocket’s decision to target you or not. Opportunists need to be sure of your weaknesses. If they aren’t, they won’t pounce. By considering the steps above and using pickpocket-proof gear for your valuables, you can worry less and feel safe enough to enjoy yourself. 

Remember, pickpockets will be looking for any openings in your defense. With tools like the special pickpocket-proof clothing from the Clever Travel Companion, you take away any opportunity for thieves to steal your valuables. Like most opportunists, pickpockets don’t risk initiating uncalculated attacks. The less we make ourselves a target, the less they can ruin the party for us. 

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