All about pickpockets, con artists, gangsters, thieves, and travel

Learn how pickpockets steal. See what they look like. Never become a victim. Start with the PICKPOCKETS! link. Read up before you travel, not after you become a pickpocket's victim or a con artist's fool. Turn your travel concerns into travel confidence, then hit the road and have the last laugh on the thieves!

Latest Posts

Pickpockets & other thieves & how to avoid them
airport surprises

Airport Surprises


Slogging through endless airports, hoping for a nice lounge, or at least a seat near a power outlet. Occasionally, delightful surprises are discovered. For…

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Airport baggage kickers


Regular readers of Thiefhunters in Paradise know that I recommend hard-sided luggage and avoid zippered bags as checked luggage. I’ve seen way too many exploded zippers…

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Sumela Monastery

Sumela Monastery in Northern Turkey


I OFTEN COMPLAIN about too much travel. 250 days a year on the road, more or less, for 23 years non-stop. At the same…

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A gang of pickpockets stole mobile phones and amassed more than 5 million pounds by stealing mobile phones on the Tube has been jailed for more than 30 years. Pictured is ringleader Nawid Moshfiq

Gang of 11 Pickpockets Stole Mobile Phones


Pickpockets Stole Mobile Phones Who says pickpocketing is a petty crime? A gang of 11 thieves was just sentenced in London. These pickpockets stole…

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child pickpockets, Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Child pickpockets in Europe


French and Romanian police have just busted 18 members of an organized crime group in Romania and Paris. The gang, actually part of a…

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theft by blocking

Theft by Blocking


Similar to the Prague pickpocket teams I’ve written about but even more sophisticated, was a South American gang regularly devastating an intersection on Fifth…

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How pickpockets pick victims: Kharem, center, is a busy pickpocket in Barcelona.

How pickpockets pick victims


Picking before picking Some pickpockets, Angelo for example, rifle full speed through as many pockets and purses as possible in a tight crowd. That’s…

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Enjoy your life! Hotel oddity

Hotel Oddity #51. Enjoy your life!


At the Carmos Hotel in Madeira, you are heartily encouraged to enjoy your life! Good idea! Okay, let’s start now! Enjoy your life! This…

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Barcelona pickpocket scene today

Barcelona pickpocket scene today


In my previous post, I offered seven simple rules to save yourself from pickpockets, inspired by my research into the Barcelona pickpocket scene today….

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Seven simple rules to save yourself from pickpockets

Seven simple rules to save yourself from pickpockets


In my previous post, I discussed the tedious and methodical research we do before slamming a city for high numbers in pickpocketing, bag snatching,…

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worst cities for pickpocketing

Worst cities for pickpocketing?


We are often asked which are the worst cities for pickpocketing. It always seems the correspondent or the journalist hopes that we will confirm…

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of things we like
  • Smartphone thieves in Barcelona

    Smartphone thieves in Barcelona

    How smartphone-thieves work
  • Kharem. Pickpocket in Barcelona

    Kharem. Pickpocket in Barcelona

    Portrait of a multi-talented pickpocket
  • Pigeon Poop Pickpocket in Barcelona

    Pigeon Poop Pickpocket in Barcelona

    A devious pickpocket exploits your goodness
  • Gamila. Pickpocket in Barcelona

    Gamila. Pickpocket in Barcelona

    A lipsticked pickpocket tells all
  • Nuncio. Pickpocket in Naples

    Nuncio. Pickpocket in Naples

    Bob Arno steals his tie
  • Wilmer. Pickpocket in Lima

    Wilmer. Pickpocket in Lima

    Tough kid, survival stealing
  • Pacco man. Bait and switch thief in Naples

    Pacco man. Bait and switch thief in Naples

    Deal too good to be true? Run!
  • Al'alla. Retired pickpocket in Tangiers

    Al'alla. Retired pickpocket in Tangiers

    Talking to thieves in an opium den
  • Pickpockets in St. Petersburg, Russia

    Pickpockets in St. Petersburg, Russia

    Analysis: how pickpockets work
  • Gangsters in Colon, Panama

    Gangsters in Colon, Panama

    Dangerous night with gangsters

Thiefhunters in Paradise, the research and education repository of Bob Arno and Bambi Vincent, is about pickpockets, thieves, scammers, gangsters, con artists, and travel. Learn how to avoid becoming a victim of thieves.

Pickpockets and property theft are the travel industry’s dirty little secret. Understandably, no one wants to talk about them. Not the travel magazines with advertisers to placate, not the boards of tourism with countries to promote, not travel agencies or packagers with clients to enthuse, or cruise lines with a carefree ambiance to emphasize. And why should they? It’s just a petty crime.

Who is to reveal the status quo but a stage-stealing Swede and his fancy accessory?

Because it represents our passion, as well as an integral part of our career, we’ll continue to skulk underground and pound the pavement. Sometimes though, on sweltering trains so crowded I’m pressed like a daisy in a dictionary, I’ll question our endeavors and the gritty reality of mingling with outlaws. Then we’ll catch a thief. We’ll capture a slick steal on video, which will later be used to illustrate our presentations to the public and help train police departments. We’ll discover some new artifice, an old trick twisted to exploit the moment. And that is our reward.