Attention thieves: pickpocket tricks and how to protect yourself

Message from 11/25/2022

Written by Katharina Kugelmeier

At the latest, when the Christmas markets start and the city centers are full on the Saturdays of Advent, the season for pickpockets starts again. We have collected the most common tricks of thieves and will tell you how to protect yourself from pickpockets.

Symbol photo. (Photo: Canva pro)

Region. Although pickpockets have had a bad hand, especially in recent years due to Corona and strict distance rules, now the season is starting for them too. Christmas markets are once again without restrictions and less emphasis on distances. Thieves are often out and about, especially at Christmas markets, which are always crowded anyway. But Christmas shopping, which draws crowds to city centres, is also a prime spot for pickpockets, as these shopping trips often involve more cash than usual.

Especially due to the thicker winter clothing, the victim usually does not even notice when the thieves have taken refuge in their pocket. A little bump here, a little nudge there and oops, your phone or wallet is gone. So that a trip to the Christmas market or shopping does not end with a theft report at the police station, we summarize the tricks of pickpockets and provide tips on how to protect yourself from thieves.

Pickpocket tricks
The tricks of pickpockets are varied and even thieves are always inventing new ways to steal things from passers-by. Therefore, here are the most common tricks, but we still advise you to be vigilant, as thieves can be quite creative. In general, pickpockets and pickpockets usually do not work alone. Even children often end up in such teams because they are usually viewed with extremely little suspicion. It should, though always Be alert when strangers approach, even if you can’t see the other person. But now to the most common tricks.

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fake help
This trick is often used in front of entire train stations or bus stops. While the criminal offers to carry a heavy bag or suitcase, and then distracts the victim in various ways, the accomplice reaches into the bag or backpack and steals the valuables. This trick is also very popular with mothers with strollers or older people with walkers or similar aids. In addition to train stations, parking spaces on the way to the car or other places where you may need help with stairs or squares are also suitable.

However, the danger of becoming a victim of pickpockets lies not only in offering help. Also, if someone approaches you and asks for help, it could be a trick. Especially popular City Map Trick, where people who are said to be unfamiliar with the area ask for directions. They give the victim a map of the city to show the way on the map. While the victim takes the card and is distracted, the purse is inserted into him. The map is not only a distraction, but also blocks the line of sight.

The mall is also often asked to help pickpockets. Whether the criminal is explaining the product to him or asking him to hand over something from a high shelf, there are many options here. If you leave your jacket or bag in the shopping cart, you are taking a particularly big risk. With purposeful distraction, it’s especially easy to access valuables here.

Kick trick
This trick is especially often used in markets or narrow shops. First of all, this trick can be done quickly and discreetly and even by yourself. A pickpocket “accidentally” hits his victim a little harder while passing by and in the meantime grabs his pocket and rushes on. Police crime prevention shows in this video kick trick procedure.

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Push trick
At Christmas markets, on escalators or on crowded buses, victims are often picked up in the middle and the thief behind reaches into the pocket while the thief in front causes a traffic jam or a sudden stop. Backpacks in particular are especially susceptible to this trick…

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