Pickpockets, how do they do it?

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
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naturegirl
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Pickpockets, how do they do it?

Postby naturegirl » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:48 am

Ok, sorry for the rant, but after spending two weeks in the bathroom, I just got pickpocketed. On the buses, crammed full of people, I had my purse, under my arm, zipped up and my cell phone in another zipped up compartment. I get off the bus, and both things are zipped and my cell phone is gone. I don't get it, how in the world did it happen?

I know it could happen anywhere, but I'm just having a not-really-enjoying-peru year.


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alan
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Postby alan » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:41 pm

One of my workmates just had her cellular phone lifter from her pocket this weekend. Ironically, she was at "Parque de la Amistad" when it happened.

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Postby Claudia1973 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:46 pm

I saw two robberies on public transportation in the U.S.A. during my visit last month.

When a guy loses his job, has to eat, pay rent, and pay child support, some steal.

The two robberies were women with purses. As the economy worsens, either leave your purse at home or bring your husband (my husband is large).
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Postby Kelly » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:29 pm

I quit carrying a purse when i moved to Peru. I use a waist pack - some say it screams 'tourist', but I've never had a problem while using it. My husband uses one too, now that he's been mugged of his backpack twice, which resulted in the loss of 3 cellphones and two cameras.
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KenBE
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Re: Pickpockets, how do they do it?

Postby KenBE » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:25 pm

naturegirl wrote:I know it could happen anywhere, but I'm just having a not-really-enjoying-peru year.

Could happen anywhere, but happens a lot MORE in Peru.
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Postby Yuyis » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:06 pm

I second that, KenBe, mi compatriota.
Just today I was thinking how Peruvians in my country receive almost for free all they need to live; and how we as strangers here have to struggle at times to obtain a durable living standard...
Indeed Peru is great when all's well. But I am so sick of being looked at as if I were a walking wallet, ready to be plundered.
Sharon, I'm sorry for the robbery, and hope your last days-weeks-months in Peru are still good ones, so that you can leave with positive thoughts and kind memories! :)
God bless Peru - and all of you!
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Postby timothy » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:17 am

It just takes a momentary distraction.

I, too, once got nailed on a public bus. Standing in the center, full bus, people pressing in on all sides. Prime opportunity. I had my wallet in the front pocket of some rather snug jeans. Who ever did it was good. I did not discover the theft until I was off the bus and a half block away.

There is also the classic "pinch" method. On a sidewalk where it narrors, two persons bump into you at the same time.

Or with us guys (we are sooo easy), same trick as above, but with an attractive lady involved. We walk away for blocks before we realize that we were robbed. We thought we had just gotten lucky!
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Postby Claudia1973 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:46 pm

I read an article by a retired thief in the Chicago Reader. He described how careful he picked the targets. It was mostly based on his fear of getting hurt, if he got caught, and value of stuff stolen. A risk-reward deal.

He wrote that he stayed away from people with dogs and men that were athletic. Also in Chicago some off-duty cops carry weapons.

It's not clear how a guy does not notice another person's hand in his front pant pocket. Sitting down or standing up, this sounds unbelievable. I'd like to hear the details.

Being a picket pocket requires more courage than stealing an object when nobody is around, but they are still both petty thieves.
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Postby alan » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:23 pm

Once, when walking down a rather desolate street in Markesh, Marocco, I was approached by a man and a boy who tried to sell me some rather crappy handicrafts. I was pretty insistent with my no, so finally, maybe to buy time, the man asked for a cigarette. When I reached down into the fanny pack where I had a pack, I found the kid already had it half unzipped and was wrapping his fingers around my wallet.

Asking for the cigarette was the worst move they could have made, because without it, I never would have known that my wallet was being stolen. Now THAT was a hard country to travel in. I had to ward off an attempt at petty thievery 4 times in 7 days.
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Postby cajun jamie » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:47 pm

Practice makes perfect.
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Postby tomsax » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:19 am

Do pickpockets surf the internet? There is lots of advice!

http://money.howstuffworks.com/pickpocket.htm
Tom
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Postby sbaustin » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:00 am

Thanks for the link Tom.. My cell phone broke last week and I might need to try this out to replace it!

Only kidding.
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Postby rgamarra » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:57 am

It happened to me last year. I was at a festival in Chorrillos and had my camera lifted out of my pocket....Never felt a thing.

I figure they used an old lady to cause a traffic jam of people (the "diversion") and lifted my $300 camera then.

At least they left me the keys to my house, otherwise I would have been strung out o'luck.

In Peru I tuck my money holder in my bra under my arm pits (gross I know), but even muggers will stick their hand down your shirt, so best to keep it away from the cleavage. My cell phone goes on the other side.

Now that it's winter it's easier to hide bulky things like a cell phone under your clothing.

Sorry you got lifted, Sharon. I certainly know the feeling, it leaves you feeling violated and vulnerable.
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Postby naturegirl » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:26 am

cajun jamie wrote:Practice makes perfect.
Ok, but HOW did the unzip and rezip two zippers?
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Postby cajun jamie » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:33 am

naturegirl wrote:
cajun jamie wrote:Practice makes perfect.
Ok, but HOW did the unzip and rezip two zippers?


Sharon, my best guess is these people practice and practice and practice with purses, their friends, their sisters, whomever, until they can open and close a purse, undetected. Then, when they can do it perfectly, they get on the buses and do it for real.

Sorry this happened. It really sucks.

PS: Are you feeling better with your stomach?
Friends don't let friends fly LAN. Support StarPeru!

I am a proud supporter of Pukana Surf School. Miraflores, Playa Makaha - Yellow tent. http://www.pukanasurferschool.com/
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naturegirl
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Postby naturegirl » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:02 pm

Oh, yes. Hey thanks. My stomach is much much better :)
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Postby trevor33 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:13 pm

Alan wrote:I had to ward off an attempt at petty thievery 4 times in 7 days.


sounds like bogota :x

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