Un professionista del borseggio viene assoldato dalla polizia per mettere informative di nascosto addosso alle persone.
Stunned shoppers were caught unawares when they were targeted by a ‘pickpocket’ who put something IN their open bags or pockets.
The novel exercise was captured on video as a magician hired by Kent Police secretly dropped cards the size of a smartphone in their bags.
In the run-up to Christmas, magician Rob James hit the streets of Dover to pounce on unsuspecting bargain hunters.
He is seen popping the card in pockets and even opening the zip of a closed backpack to leave his safety message.
The crackdown was called Putpockets and was spearheaded by the Dover Partnership Against Crime.
The video follows Rob, who is fitted with a covert video camera. He pounces on the unaware shoppers, before hiding the special card on them.
These shoppers are then stopped by members of the production team who explain what had happened and filmed their reactions.
On one occasion James distracts a couple by asking directions, on another he slips the card into the pocket of an engineer who was up a ladder – he’s even able to put cards the size of iPads into some people’s bags.
Rob James said: “It was easier than I thought and we had a greater number of hits than we expected.”
Sergeant Carl Lidgley from Dover’s Community Policing Team said: “Shoppers who leave their bags open provide a golden opportunity for thieves to help themselves.
“I urge people to be more vigilant by making sure their valuables are somewhere where they can feel them, like an inside breast pocket, if someone does try to steal them.’