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 above. 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
Car scam. car scam online. car scam craigslist

Car scam. Sellers beware!


Closing up our Stockholm house, I’ve been selling things on the local version of Craig’sList. Many items sell in the first day, even in…

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Bedside control - hotel oddity

Hotel oddity #49 – Bedside control


Can you read this? I love bedside controls, but this one was tricky. The buttons were small, the text tiny, icons obscure. Who designed…

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Fehim Hamidovic, convicted chief of the Hamidovic pickpocket network

Hamidovic Pickpocket Network—Fagin is alive!


Fagin—heard of him? An 1837 fiction. Hamidovic—know that name? He’s an actual, living, pickpocket kingpin. Reality. Hamidovic, arrested in late 2010, ran a network…

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sexy pickpocket

Sexy Pickpocket


Ego-stroking sex-based scams target vulnerable loners, or those who appear to be single. In a bar scene or come-on, some people suck up flirtation…

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Unethical blogger's advice will get you handcuffed.

Unethical Blogger


Steal. Drink and snack from the hotel mini-bar, the unethical blogger advises in his unethical December 10, 2014 article. Go ahead and have a…

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Shangri-La tea at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.

Hotel Oddity #48. Shangri-la tea


This intriguing basket was waiting in our room when we checked into the Shangri-La hotel in Singapore. It had been a long journey for…

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FedEx delivery failure; boxes fall off truck

FedEx delivery failure – boxes fall off truck


So, I’m expecting a couple of packages. The FedEx tracking site says they’re “on vehicle for delivery.” Yippee! When your box falls off a…

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Stockholm airport Arlanda shopping: This is the way to the gates and lounge right after security at Stockholm's Arlanda airport. For years, the exit has been blocked by luggage carts.

Arlanda shopping trick—offensive


Like shopping? Like to be forced into shopping? Ever feel like boycotting a store because of the arrogant manner shown towards its customers? Arlanda…

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At the Four Seasons Sultanahmet, a beautiful presentation of raki, the local anise liquor, to which water is added.

Four Seasons Hotel Perfection—Hotel Oddity #47


What has the Four Seasons Sultanahmet in Istanbul not thought of? I’ve already written about its coffee delivered with wake-up call, a practice worthy…

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Paris pickpockets: The youngest pickpocket called for a group photo. They posed and clowned, but none of them took photos of their own.

Paris pickpockets – kids you wouldn’t suspect


“No, no, I won’t steal from you,” the little boy says. “You’re my brother! Family! Family!” He touches his heart, repeating “family, family.” He…

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Bosnian pickpocket on the loose in Paris. Pickpockets in Paris

Pickpockets in Paris


Pickpocketing in Paris is out of control. Or rather, the pickpockets in Paris are in control. The police arrest them regularly then see the…

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Masked traveler in a lounge in Istanbul airport

Airport survival


Sometimes an exhausted traveler just has to give in and conk out. You can intend to be productive. You can try to be productive….

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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.