I’m not sure why the thought of being cautious of pickpocketing crossed my mind today. For some reason I thought it would be interesting to learn about how to prevent it as much as possible and how to be aware of suspicious action. After doing some research I’ve pooled together a few tips on how to be on the lookout for pickpockets.
Keep Essentials Hidden & Close By
There’s a technique pickpockets use called “the pinch and push” technique. It’s basically just that - they pinch the edge of your jeans and push the item out of your pocket. Most of us keep our phones in the back pockets of our jeans. (Especially girls since the front pocket usually isn’t big enough.) Since that’s the case, it’s safer to keep your phone in a purse or a bag. Both can be stolen easily if you don’t pay attention, but a backpack is more difficult to get into. Thankfully there’s such thing as anti-theft bags which you can purchase here. There’s no guaranteeing it won’t be stolen but these bags are designed to be difficult to steal from.
Look Out For The Mustard Dip
You’re just minding your own business walking out in public, nothing seems to be going wrong. All of a sudden someone tells you that you’ve got something on your back. (It doesn’t have to be mustard.) Usually someone else will come along and say, “Oh let me clean that off for you.” While you’re distracted by these people trying to clean you off, they might try to take your jacket off or grab from your pockets. Sometimes a third person will come along and if you need to take your bag off in order to take your jacket off for them to “clean” it - you’re in trouble.
Don’t let anyone get too close to you, if you actually have something on your back you can clean it on your own. Why would someone be so concerned about that anyhow?
Pickpockets target people that are distracted. The kind of person that’s either on their phone, looking around too much, or being distracted in some other way. A huge part of pickpocketing is slide of hand and controlling what you pay attention to so don’t let that happen. Never let a stranger get too close to you. Most pickpocketing is done in public transportation because that’s usually where people are crammed together. Keep in mind that if someone “bumps” into you and you suddenly notice your phone or wallet is missing, there’s a good chance it’s the person carrying things on their arms. Sweaters, bags or anything like that are often used to hide stolen items.
I don’t think it’s good to be in a constant state of fear, but there’s nothing wrong with being cautious. Just be careful and keep an eye out, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings.