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Kovaks Street Scam Forums • View topic - Pickpockets in London

Pickpockets in London

Scammed in Barcelona? Share your stories here.

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Pickpockets in London

Postby KOVAKS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:51 pm

Contributed by Keith Sink:

I love your web site on the pick pockets in Barcelona. Here's my story from my first trip to England.

My wife and I were visiting a friend of hers that had been living in England for about a year. We were taking in the sites in Picadilly Square when our friend said she needed to get some cash from the ATM. While my wife and her friend went to the ATM, I walked a little further away from the ATM and leaned up against a lamp post. As I watched them get cash from a distance, I felt that something about the people around the area wasn't right. They all seemed to look similar in their skin tone, dress, hair cuts, height, etc. I've seen alot of shows on pickpockets and didn't feel comfortable. There were two couples, and two guys on cell phones looking away from the ATM. All of them were spread out in a semi-circle, away from the machine.

As my friend put her card into the machine and withdrew her cash, a man approached from her left. He proceeded to ask her for directions and distract her. While they both were looking at the man on the left another man on the right approached the machine and quickly removed the card. Without my friend or my wife seeing him. He tucked the card under his jacket, which was draped over his arm. The pickpocket walked quickly in my direction, not knowing that I was with the two women.

As he approached, I slammed him up against the nearby wall and pinned him there. (No. I did not know what I was doing, and I don't recommend anyone doing what I did.) As he was squirming, the semi-circle of accomplices quickly scattered, except for one of the couples. The guy left his girlfriends side and quickly moved over to me, and asked for me to let his friend go.

I told them to drop the card, and they did and I let him go.

My wife and her friend were startled and didn't know what the hell I was doing. So they came over to me in shock and I handed her, her card. She still wasn't aware it had been taken. My impression is that most people just think they put it away already and don't think twice about it.

I guess the moral of this story is that you should play close attention to your surroundings. Also trust your instincts. If an area is too crowded, don't try to get cash out of the ATM. This happened in broad daylight, so don't believe you are safe.

Later that night the London police had signs up warning of extreme pickpocket activity in the area. Of course, it would have helped to have known that before hand.

It made for a great story when I got home.
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