Both professional and opportunistic pickpockets have always known that stealing items of value from the back pocket of of a backpack is like taking candy from a baby - the pocket is behind the owner who usually has no clue the thieves is unzipping the pocket as they are walking down the street.
It's not nuclear science that most thieves know that 90 percent of the time when someone is wearing a backpack or daypack, they usually have their wallet or cell phone just inside this rearward facing pocket. And if it's not the wallet, thieves are finding it very common that other valuables are also easily removed without the victims knowledge - including iPads, laptops, tablets, or other expensive electronics. Security experts say you should carry your backpack in front of you while on the subway or bus as well as while you enter and exit the stations because pickpockets often target people on the stairs.
If additional protection of a backpack is needed, zipper locks should be used to help keep zippers together, these new zipper locks, located here are inexpensive, and make the unzipping of a rear facing pocket difficult for pickpockets.
Here is a video outlining thefts from backpacks.
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