Enough with misdirections. I've already told you a lot about that (see my previous post, Oops... sorry mister), and although there are many more possibilities, you have a good start with those ones. Now, let's concentrate on the actual picking procedure that pickpockets use to grab a wallet.

How to pickpocket
Lesson One : Pants pockets

The first and most common method of wallet extraction is the "two-finger snag". Standing behind the mark, the pickpocket makes a V with his index and middle finger, and inserts them slightly into the pocket. During the distraction, the pickpocket snags the wallet and jerks it out.


Another way of stealing from the back pocket is called "pushing". The wallet is slowly nudged upwards, and inch at a time, until it eventually rises out of the pocket. Once the wallet is on the top of the pocket, the pickpocket can snag it. This method is used on marks that are wearing very tight pants. As a rule, however, pickpockets tend to avoid them, and rather find an easier mark.

These techniques must be done very quickly and without hesitation. There is a smaller chance of getting caught by jerking the wallet out than there is by trying to finesse it out. The only time a slow, meticulous wallet-steal would be attempted is when the pockets are very loose.

Finally, there is the "slitting" method I have already talked about (see Why pockets can be picked). Pickpockets will use a razor blade to cut a square in the pocket, so that the wallet simply falls out. They can also just slice the pocket right down the middle, making the lift a very easy task. Since the razor rests upon the wallet during the cutting procedure, the mark never feels a thing. However, these methods are quite hard for a pickpocket to conceal, and many of them will avoid blades.


(ref. Techniques of the professional pickpocket, 1990 by Wayne B. Yeager)