Pickpocket

28 03 2011

Saturday I was walking around the center, first time in ages, and, first time in my life, I assisted to a pickpocket thief in action, I think contributing to the failure of this low-life.

I have been a target of these people in the center of Hefei, but when it happened to me, I was not that angry. But I can think that the girl target of the thief Saturday would have been really angry!

I was walking around a shopping center located at the very beginning of the walking street in Hefei center. There is a bus station, with several stops and a block of shops, covered by an arcade, for 3 sides. It is the first block at the cross Huaihe lu (pedestrian street) and Suzhou lu. Always lots of people there.

So I was actually a little surprised when I walked in the arcade part and past me, in the opposite direction went a girl with a boy trailing after her, very close to the shop windows and walking almost in crouched stance, very close behind her. At that moment, in that arcade area I could only notice myself and these pair. So I first thought the guy was the girl’s boyfriend of friend trying to play a trick to her, but something wrong caught my attention, so I kept staring, even when the girl had passed me. She noticed I was staring and suddenly she felt the presence of someone behind her, trying maybe to reach into her coat pocket. At that moment, when she started turning, the guy jumped back, turned and pretended to do his own business.. then I also stopped, looked around and.. clearly saw another guy, a few steps in front of me getting eye contact with the thief and then turning looking at me.

Clearly the two low-lives were together: the girl checked her pockets and started looking around and to me.. I sort of nodded to her and point to the guys that at that point were walking together around the corner. Then I decided to change direction, and walk back toward the walking street, as the girl did. I turned just to notice the two guys were walking back, following us/me?

Can’t say that, but my awareness/paranoia had spiked, so I walked back to the beginning of the pedestrian street, notice a guard there and just stationed myself to the side of the guard, looking over where these two thieves were. Waited some time then left, keeping my bag close to my body and often checking my pockets 😉

The situation appeared so obvious that seemed unnatural to me. The thieves also did not look like Chinese people, more East China people: this sounds like discrimination but unfortunately it is a fact that several thieves in Chinese larger cities come from that area. I’m not saying they are all bad people, as not all Rom or Romanian people are bad.. but there are several that are evil! I just know for myself, I have to look out! Too easy targeting a laowai like me..

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