‘Beware of pickpockets.’ This is one sentence that you’ll get to read almost everywhere, be it in buses, trains or at crowded places. But what you are not aware of is that there has been a drastic change in the operational tactics in the crime. Of late, women are slowly taking over the business of pickpocketing from men.
Recently, the Azad Maidan police arrested eight women for pickpocketing in BEST buses. The women, who would always travel in a group, would be decently dressed not to attract any attention.
According to police, at least 40% of pickpockets in the city are women. The city and railway police register at least 10 cases of pickpocketing every day, out of which, at least four are committed by women.
Many police officials are of the view that women pickpockets are much better than their male counterparts. The women pickpockets never operate alone. They always work in a gang of at least three to four women.
This is done to merge in with the crowd. “These women are usually very friendly. If not caught red-handed, it is usually difficult to believe that they are pickpockets. And women pickpockets usually target only women,” said a police officer.
In many cases, where women have been arrested for pickpocketing, it has been found that the entire family has been committing the crime and it is their means of livelihood.
The family members are taught tricks of the trade. The fact that men cannot enter ladies compartment in the trains or women’s restrooms gives way to women to set their foot in the crime.
With the increase of chain snatching incidents and rising price of gold, a lot of women keep their gold ornaments in their purse. Hence, women pickpockets usually make more money as compared to male counterparts.
Agreeing that the number of women pickpockets has increased, Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said, “With the number of working women increasing and becoming affluent, they become more vulnerable to pickpockets.”