ATHENS – Targeting one of Athens’ biggest problems, especially during the holidays, Greek police said they caught four girls 14-18 who had been working as a pickpocket ring especially targeting tourists they distract.
They were working in the center of the capital, focusing on the popular shopping area of Ermou Street where police said the gang, operating together, would ask a passerby for help reading a map while one of them rifled the mark’s bag or pockets.
They were caught in the act while doing that, said Kathimerini, using the map while going into a tourist’s backpack and 180 euros ($199.31) four cellphone and four city maps were found in their possession.
The gang is believed to have been active for at least three months, focusing on busy parts of the capital favored by tourists, and has been linked to 13 pickpocketing incidents, the paper said, highlighting how active pickpocket gangs are, also in the city’s metro system.
In April, 2018, police issued an alert for pickpockets, many of them Albanian criminals, who ride the Metro when it’s crowded, using techniques to get into people’s pockets and bags during shoving.
Working with speed and sophistication, or using knives to cut open handbags and backpacks, the pickpockets often work in crews to hand stolen goods to each other to prevent being caught and use a number of tricks, such as falling down while walking ahead of people on the stairs and while being picked up, going through their pockets and also bags.