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
Eiffel Tower, Chinese tourists to Paris

Thanks to pickpockets, Chinese now shun travel to France


Asian tourists have been scared away from Paris by the plague of pickpockets who target them. According to Jean-François Zhou, President of the Chinese…

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Pickpockets look like tourists


Pickpockets look like tourists, and it’s not by accident. Replete with water bottles, backpacks, camera, baseball caps, these “props” are intended to camouflage the…

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Bag stolen in Barcelona cafe

Bag stolen in Barcelona cafe


The loss of a valuable shoulder bag stolen in Barcelona was devastating to the victim. The bag had been on the floor beside her chair in a…

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keyless car theft, keyless-entry fob

Keyless car theft, increasing crime


Keyless car theft is possible even when a car is locked and the electronic fob is away from the car. With a small electronic…

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Pickpockets in Rio

Pickpockets in Rio — Anti-theft rules


Anti-theft Rules for Rio How to Protect Yourself from Street Thieves and Muggers “Be more vigilant; be aware of your surroundings,” warn US government…

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Survey: Did you file a police report when you were pickpocketed?


Did you file a police report when you were pickpocketed? I’ll be grateful for your response to this short survey? It applies to a…

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Hotel lobby luggage theft; hotel lobby bag theft

Hotel lobby baggage theft


otel lobby baggage theft is common precisely because people think it is not. We tend to feel we’ve entered a safe zone when we…

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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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What are 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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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.