TikToker calls out and publicly shames pickpockets in Venice, Italy

Originally published at: TikToker calls out and publicly shames pickpockets in Venice, Italy | Boing Boing


Then the polizia wouldn’t get their cut, now would they?


i’m such an easy mark i couldn’t tell what was going on in either of the videos i watched, even as i watched them over again. good for her, though – this is a great public service.


Seems like a good way to get stabbed?


Huh. That “poofy jacket over the arm” trick from the second video is pretty good.
As for the women calling this out…rock on.


I love this kind of thing. I had a couple of hours to kill at the LGA airport baggage claim several months ago (my bags didn’t make a connection so I had to wait for the next flight) and spent most of it chasing off touts who were trying to scam arriving tourists into taking unlicensed car services. It’s quite satisfying to watch a low-life go scurrying away after you start loudly telling his potential mark that he has no license or insurance and is going to rip them off. They have no shame, though, and kept coming back to try again even after I’d chase them off.


I was definitely worried about that when I did my little LGA stunt. For that reason I made sure to stay very close to the attended Information desk so that in the unlikely event somebody attacked me I could get help quickly. Even still, one of the touts I chased away came back in the airport a few minutes later to curse me out for ruining his business. He was very angry, but didn’t get physically violent.


I was travelling with a group and a local hawker of postcards came up to peddle his wares (supposedly). The “display copy” was all the postcards in a accordion-folded plastic cover, which he would hold up to your face as he was rapidly giving his spiel.

Apparently that was just to provide cover for his other hand. I waved him away and he went to bug another member of our group, but from behind I could see that hand was groping into my friend’s purse while she was distracted by the postcards.

Without thinking about it, I yelled “Hey!!” loudly and he ran off. Only later did it occur to me that may have been dangerous.


Exactly. They’re not trying to get people to stop taking videos and calling out the thieves out of the goodness of their hearts.


Or applying Occham’s Razor, it’s just not worth the effort.

Even if the police arrest the person and manage to catch them before they offload the evidence, they still need to get brought to trial and then will likely get off with a minimal fine.

The police in the UK complain that even when they do arrest someone, the pickpocket is released from the station and is back working while the police are still stuck in the station doing the post arrest paperwork.

I hate pickpockets, but we need to find a better solution that makes it not worth the effort for the pickpockets to operate.


I don’t understand. You’re saying it’s not worth the effort for people to witness and post evidence of the crime?
Because that’s what the post is about.


no, I am replying to the suggestion that the police are doing nothing because they are on the take.


“It’s “forbidden” to put the beat-down on somebody who is actively stealing your valuables? And the practice frequently doesn’t go to court? . It seems like there is no real incentive to -stop- pickpocketing, and hence, a rampant occurrence.”

-Dr. Obvious

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I was told to be careful about pickpockets when I went to Italy, especially around Naples. We managed to avoid trouble, though on a train an Irish guy was loudly yelling at a young guy who he said tried to pick his pocket. Not 100% sure if they guy did or not, but the Irish dude was convinced.

Our one loss was when we left my wife’s guide book with meticulous notes at Lucca. Doh. Pretty sure she left it at this wall, but it wasn’t there. That was an ordeal.


I live in Milan, this happens in the tube on a daily basis. Mostly on the central area stations between the cathedral (Duomo) and the Sforzesco Castle (Cairoli). This area of around 3-4 stops is a goldmine for pickockets as its very busy and is the main route for tourists. At some stops so many people get off and on that is easy to “bump” and grab in the crowd and confusion.

It’s all very organized, almost all of the “active” pickpockets (the ones that grab) are underage, so when they get arrested (which is very often) they can’t be held for too long. Most times even less that a couple of hours. The tube police know them, but they can’t do more than scare them away when they see them. The tube is not a private enterprise so as long as they got a ticket they can’t be denied entry

It has got so bad that at these central stations as part of the usual messages broadcasted in the stations like “stay away the edge of the platform” they have added stuff like “please be aware that pickpockets are active in the station, take care of your belongings”. This in both italian and english.


I know skilled pickpockets will find a way, but I was genuinely surprised in the video by how many of the victims were walking around with their purses/bags wide open on the top, in a crowded area.
Ah, to still have that level of innocence!


Come to Tokyo, people still leave phones and laptops on tables unattended while they go and order their food or drink!


All throughout our travels in Italy there were locals and tourists alike with unzipped bags, or whole sections of backpacks, or gaping open shoulder bags.

I started to wonder if many people were doing it on purpose to bait pickpockets (like leaving the zip unfastened because they tossed their used kieenex in there), especially after I tried alerting a few tourists to their vulnerable bag, and they just seemed annoying by the bother, and made no attempt to fix it.


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