Retrieved by Pat Darnell
The Lost Art of Pickpocketing -- The venerable crime has all but disappeared in the United States. What happened, and should we miss it? | By Joe Keohane | Posted Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 (LINK)
Based on this story written by Joe Keohane -- came a segment from National Public Radio:
Pickpocketing: An Art That's Stealing Away : NPR: "New York, once a pickpocket's paradise, scored 23,000 cases of in 1990 alone. Five years later, the number fell by half, according to writer Joe Keohane, who wrote about the decline for Slate. By about 2000, he says, there were fewer than 5,000 reports of the crime. It's the same story in many major cities across the country."
EXCERPT | " ... Training To Be 'A Pianist'Michael Openshaw, March 16, 2011 wrote:
Part of the reason pickpocketing has declined so dramatically is that no one teaches it anymore. Older pickpockets called "wires" used to train younger ones in the craft.
"Then they would train five, and they would train five, and it would just keep the system going," Keohane says. "In New York, you'd have organized pickpocketing schools." (NPR. March 6, 2011. LINK)
"Actually, pickpocketing has been outsourced. It’s still an active viable trade in places like Africa. Got hit up by a very professional 3 man team in Uganda. Fortunately, I’m left-handed and they only got my camera on the right side (They filched my passport as well, but threw it back to me since the new ones are difficult to utilize; considerate of them)"
"The loss of the camera was more important for the video I hadn’t offloaded. But one of my older orphan girls took up the challenge, help bribe the cops into doing their job (the pickpockets are regulars), got the camera back, got the guys arrested, only cost about $42 (plus a matching amount for reward to my wonderful savior there). The guys ended up in jail…until they could pay their way out. Were back on the same corner about a week later where my girl saw them; they smiled and waved. All very business-like; paying for education."
Dave Slifka, February 25, 2011 wrote:
"I was in Barcelona last summer where I met several people who were victims of pickpocketry. Few things change your life so quickly for the worse and so needlessly. A life of thievery of any kind is, in my opinion, one of the lowest forms of existence. To wax nostalgically for it is, at best, misguided and, at worst, irresponsible."
Jim Snedeker (Jas500) wrote:
So as long as NPR gets one of its perky hosts to do a light-hearted story celebrating a crime, then that means it's all right, right? NOT! Why not interview a real person who'd had their pocket picked and see how they felt? The woman whose diabetes medication was in her purse? The man who had to suffer through months of paperwork and angst to restore his good credit because of stolen credit cards? Instead, you quoted people getting picked... from a movie! And then you interviewed a professional pick-pocketer, complete with audience laughter. Nice choices, NPR.
(Tue Mar 08 2011)