By Claire Nowak
Contrary to the image of the solitary trickster you’ve conjured in your mind, pickpockets often team up in large groups to get their victims. “Usually, one of the gang will distract the mark, often with a fake tourist survey or petition, or by ‘accidentally’ spilling something on them,” says Lewis Sage-Passant, MSyl, a former British military intelligence officer and director of travel security firm How Safe Is My Trip. “While the victim is distracted, their accomplice will take the opportunity to grab items from unguarded pockets or bags, sometimes going so far as to cut through the material of bags to access the contents.” If a stranger does approach you on the street, Sage-Passant recommends looking around for a potential accomplice to determine if the stranger is being genuine or has darker plans in mind.
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