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duncan386 4 years ago
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7 Weird Things I Learned as a Pickpocket in the Modern World

Pants: perhaps the most sacred space any of us keep. No one besides a lover, a doctor, or a tailor should be able to get close enough to your pockets to grab something out of them. And yet pickpockets violate this sanctuary for a living. Cracked wanted to know what makes these butt targeting hooligans tick, so we sat down with "Joe," a former pickpocket who verified his skills via an unnervingly thorough video demonstration. Here's what he told us about his former life:

7. It Won't Make You Rich, but It Might Keep Your Belly FullFor most of my "career," I would only lift a wallet from one or two marks in a single outing. I went out a few times a month, usually on weekends, with the occasional spontaneous victim in the middle of the week. I specialized in working spoiled upper class teens that came to the mall to blow their allowance. Their wallets usually had around $50 in cash, because debit cards weren't super common yet and people used to carry wealth around in the form of strange, filthy papers with numbers written on them.

None but the rich Steve Grogan Patriots Jersey had cards, and they only used them to make drug lines.

In four and a half years of semi professional pocket burgling, I made at least $10,000, maybe a little more. That won't even get you through Bumfuck County Community College without loan debt. But my marks were losing out Authentic John Hannah Jersey on a weekend shopping trip to Hot Topic a tragedy that ranks slightly above "Dick Cheney stubs his toe" whereas I needed food money.

Every now and then, I hit the lottery. One time, I pulled a wallet from a guy that had five $100 bills and a 50, all crisp and brand new, without so much as a crease. I wasn't even in high school yet, and with about two seconds of physical effort, I had made enough to pay my family's rent. But then a little voice popped into my head and told me it was a trap. I had flashes of memories: the guy walking in front of me, stopping where I could see him, as though he wanted me to notice him. I shoved the money back in the wallet, left it on the ground, and left the mall as quickly as I could.

I was too scared to even return it for the trapped reward.

It was the biggest find of my career and I tossed it, because paranoia is more effective than any cop.

6. It's Not Like There's a Pickpocket Training CampI was the kind of kid who always sympathized with the villains in crime movies. I was poor as hell, and coming into a bunch of money was the greatest thing I could imagine (Finally! I can buy a new Ferrari! And shoes! To press on the pedals!). But the criminal that stood out to me the most was the pickpocket. He was like a spy, but with more immediate financial gain and less torture by Russian secret police. And John Hannah Patriots Jersey Lady Internet was there to pop my crime cherry with YouTube tutorials, books, forum posts . it was as easy as looking up a pie recipe.

Actually, fuck the Ferrari. I Irving Fryar Jersey can buy pie!

The two things that formed my learner's bible were a forum post that couldn't have been written by anyone older than 24 and a scanned PDF file of a book written by a magician who explained how pickpocketing works.

But this isn't like welding, where a lot of low stakes practice helps with the real work. You're stealing from live people. To get better at that, you've got to get out in the Authentic Steve Grogan Jersey field.

5. The First Theft Is the HardestIt was absolutely terrifying. I was 12 years old, with an overactive imagination and absolutely no understanding of how the legal system works. I felt like everyone knew what I was up to. What if this mark was a badass veteran who had killed men with his bare hands? What if that one had once fought off fourteen grizzly bears using a rocket launcher he had built out of sticks and leaves?And this one's probably packing dual Desert Eagles.

I got so overloaded that I threw up in my mouth a few times and had to walk to the other side of the store, sit on a patio furniture display, and wait until I had calmed down. I forced myself to go for it. I walked up behind a guy and pulled his wallet. He had loose pockets. It was easy enough. He turned around and looked at me right as I took my hands out from my own pockets, which now contained his wallet. I almost blurted out "I'm sorry! It's my first day!"

He had $76 and change in his wallet. I put his coins into one of those plastic breast cancer donation boxes. I Irving Fryar Patriots Jersey threw the wallet and his credit cards away. That was a safety measure on my part. Identity theft was a big deal on the news, and I was less worried about being accused of taking someone's cash than being accused of taking their credit card.

We live in a very private society, where everyone has their own personal bubble. We hardly make eye contact anymore, and physical contact with strangers is, best case scenario, probably some minor form of sexual harassment. Not to mention all the other anxieties that come with committing a crime of any kind. So yeah, that first pull was as hard as an Ent at an arboretum.

I got better and better and, of course, more confident. It got to the point where I was rarely unsure of myself. But after a couple years, that old paranoia crept up again. I began to think things were a little too easy. I noticed people smiling at me politely, as if they had been watching me, and a little voice thought up more and more conspiracy theories. That's sorta the whole issue with crime as an income. Living under the shadow of a felony every day puts your head in full time Alex Jones mode.

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