How Thieves Steal Wallets on Escalators

BY Beth Williams

These two videos show how thieves steal wallets on escalators. It’s a choreographed effort involving at least two crooks.  Watch the below video which shows a team of pickpockets working an escalator in a shopping mall.  One of the pickpockets is in front of the victim on the escalator and when they reach the top he pretends like he drops something, causing a large backup of the people behind him. Watch closely, and you will see the co-pickpocket steal the victim’s wallet and flee. The victim, or mark, is caught up in the fumbling in front of him and possibly some jostling too. He doesn’t even notice the taking of his wallet.

The rear pants pocket is called the sucker pocket, never, never put anything of value like your phone or wallet in that pocket. Even if you think it is snug in there someone can lift it.

This is an interesting video of a victim who had his wallet stolen on an escalator in Europe.  Listen to his story to understand how easy it is for thieves to steal wallets on escalators.

How to protect your valuables in a crowded situation

While being aware of your surroundings in crowds both at home and especially while traveling is step one, it is not enough. You must protect your phone, wallet, and documents from theft.

Step two is to use a hidden wallet (there are several styles to choose from) to shield your gear from theft. These hidden body wallets hold your valuables close to your body and are covered by your clothing to stop an opportunistic thief or even a small gang of crooks from helping themselves to your valuables. A popular style of hidden body wallet is the pouch style. You wear the pouch around your neck and let it hand down over your stomach, or crossbody style from one should and let it hang on the opposite hip.

Another style of security travel wallet is the moneybelt. You wear this one around your waist and tuck the pouch into the front of your pants. Both styles are slim and not bulky, as they are mainly designed to protect your passport, credit cards, and some currency.


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