Former pickpocket shows how it is done


"I never noticed a thing," said  young woman who had just had her purse stolen by a pickpocket. Fortunately in this case the woman soon got her purse back as the former trickster,  Christophe Ambre, was just demonstrating how easy it was for him to take it.
 
Commissioned by the Neue Zuger Zeitung and accompanied by the Joe Müller, head of crime prevention of the Zug police, Ambre was out and about in the city showing people how easy it was for them to be robbed, without them noticing at all.
 
Ambre explained how he had engaged a young woman in conversation at a table in a restaurant and spread open a map of the town. In doing so, he had been able to steal her purse without her knowledge. As she smilingly put her purse back in her bag, she said, "I'll make sure I always zip up my bag from now on."
 
The 38-year-old Ambre, a Frenchman who now trains the police in Germany, showed how he was able to steal from other victims in the Herti and Metalli shopping centres in the city, by distracting them in some way and then taking their watches, even after one "victim" had volunteered to be robbed and who never noticed the dexterity with which Ambre removed his wristwatch, despite being on the look-out. At Zug station he helped a lady with her luggage get on the train, then she realised her tickets and money had gone.
 
Over a period of two hours, Ambre had managed to trick 10 victims. "It is even better when there are more people around. I could have robbed 20 in the same time at Zurich Station," he said.
 
Miller advised people to be on the look-out for pickpockets, who often work in pairs at stations, restaurants and shopping centres, especially at times when a lot of people are around. One particular trick is stealing from people who have just used cash machines, with wallets and mobile phones also being targeted.
 
Police warn the public to carry valuables in inside packets and never to walk round with open bags. Carrying purses on top of bags is best avoided as is hanging bags and clothes on the back of chairs in public areas. Particular care should be taken when trying on new clothes.
 
Further information can be found on www.zugerpolizei.ch.


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