In my previous post "How to pickpocket : Lesson Three", I said that pickpockets rely on speed and distraction to steal a wallet in a flash. While this is true for most pickpockets, some also like to take their time. It all depends on the situation: a pickpocket can't be subtle while jerking a wallet out of tight pants! However, for loose pants, purses, jacket pockets and backpacks, a stealthy approach is very much indicated.

And finally I am on known territory, because this is what I do when giving a card. Very slowly, I get close to my victim, always looking away, as if trying to read the metro map. When I'm close enough, I cover my movements with whatever I can, a book, my scarf, the newspapers... Sometimes, I move my hands a lot, look at my watch, put it back near the victim, then put it on my bag, then near the victim... without noticing, the victim gets accustomed to having my hand around him. Same goes for my newspapers, I like to open it wider than needed, push the victim a little, just to be annoying. This is fun because most of the time, when people are annoyed, they frown and look away! And now it's time for my fingers to find their way.

Now the most difficult part of this is NOT to watch what I'm doing. People will instinctly follow your eye and look at whatever you are looking at, and in this case I don't want this. The eye is also attracted by movements, so it is important for me to conceal my hands and to look natural. My fingers brush the coat, or the bag, in search of a zipper or an opening... when I find it, I insert a card into it very slowly. Since purses and jackets pockets are away from the body, the victims don't feel a thing.

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The most amusing are backpacks: they are so easy to access. Little by little, I open the zipper with one hand, while the other is covering my actions with a book. Sometimes I pull hard on the zipper when the train stops abruptly, or when it gets even more crowded. At first I was afraid someone might feel it, but now I realize that with all the noise, crowd and fatigue, nobody notices. Ask one of your friend to unzip your backpack while you wear it, and you might hear it, but you won't feel it. Plus, I guess it is a personal vendetta against people who don't take off their backpacks in the metro.

So that is how a put my cards into your pockets, but it is easily transposable to any pickpocket operating with stealth. Be very wary of people taking to much space and getting unnecessarily close to you. Change position regularly and keep you hands near your valuables.

And please, take off your backpacks.

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