In the pickpocketing world, distraction can get pretty elaborate. Twomembers of a team might stage afightwhile the third member takesadvantage of the inattentive crowd. Child pickpockets may try to showsomething to a mark, like a drawing or atoy, while other childrensneak up from behind. Another common trick is to surreptitiouslyspray someone with bird droppings, or a convincing facsimile, andthen offer to help clean it off.One of the most effective distractions is
: An attractive woman,usually pretending to bedrunk, will touch an unsuspecting manaffectionately, and lift his wallet or watchwhile he's distracted.Some pickpockets play on
in their distractions. They"accidentally" drop change or shopping bags on the ground so thatsomeone will stop to help them. While the mark is kneeling on theground with the first pickpocket, another member of the team stealshis or her wallet. At the beach, one member of the team may pretendto be in trouble in the water. When the mark runs in to help out,another member of the team walks off with whatever the mark has lefton the beach.
One member of the pickpocket team pretends to drop whatshe's carrying. When the mark stoops to help, the secondpickpocket lifts her wallet from her purse.
Sometimes, pickpockets don't want to distract you from your money;they want to bring your attention to it. For example, one member of apickpocket team might yell out "Somebody just stole my wallet!" in a