Again, just a notice out to people who have never had this happen but there are a bunch of kids who hang out on Sukhumvit past Asok who are pickpockets.
I ran into them twice in the matter of a couple of days. The M.O. is that they usually stage themselves near a bustop or a flyover where the street get narrowed a bit. They come up to you pretending to try to sell you some crap. They have large shopping bags with what as far as I could make out while beating them off with a stick, popcorn.
They come up to you and push these massive bags up into you while they ramble on in Thai which they figure you probably don’t know. They’re trying to create a sense of confusion. While they are pressing the bat up against you their other hand is sliding underneat the bags and trying to find its way into your pocket.
I got pinched by a group of these kids one night and as soon as the bag hit my belly I slammed my hands into my front pockets (I never carry anything in my back pockets). I felt the one kid trying to jam his hand into my front pocket at which point I used my body to push him back far enough that there were no kids touching me and told him I would kick the shit out of him. He just laughed and stuck his tongue out at me.
A few nights later I had the same sort of pincher move pulled on me right at the flyover closest to soi 23. Before they could even get close enough I stopped and shouted at them “Mai Ow!!!” which is “Don’t want” in Thai I braced myself in a defensive posture to let them know that I was ready to beat the shit out of anybody who came close to me and they laughed and went back to sitting on the wall.
They’re disarming because the leader of the pack is usually no older than 14 or 15. The others are all about 10 – 12 years old. You don’t figure that these sweet inoccent kids out working the streets to make a buck would fleece you but that is exactly what they have in mind.
2 thoughts on “Pickpocket Alert”
I also ran into a pickpocket scam in that same area about a year ago. A ladyboy working with a whore were all hands on me. I pushed them away and after taking a few steps I noticed my camera bag was opened and my wallet which I kept in it was gone. I turned around, maced the katoey and put him in a choke hold. All of a sudden the whore came running toward me in a panic with my wallet in hand. It had some wet leaves or something on it like she had thrown in in bushes. As far as I can tell everything was still there. damn, I was lucky. I did report it to the tourist police and have had that trouble since though I see there’s another problem back. I would ask that the auther of this posting report it to the tourist police as well. They may try to clean it up.
I saw another group of these kids the other night down closer to Nana. It was actually a bit humorous as I saw them setting up their little pincher move. What they hadn’t counted on is that with some much foot traffic near Nana they can’t stay in their little formation for long. People need to get through.
So they set up and they see me coming and two of the kids with bags block the passageway. So I just stop and step aside on the sidewalk a few feet from them and they figure they’ll wait me out. But there’s a ton of people trying to get through behind them so some Thai guy pushed the kids and yelled something at them in Thai and he pushed his way past. Once he opened the hole everyone else started pushing past them and they were flushed out of their spot.
When they got pushed out into a more open area I just looked at them and smiled and walked past.
I ran across this reader submission on the Stickman site that basically details the same exact scam:
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