I watched as a ‘flower seller’ approached a man who was taking a photo with his phone and then spent several minutes tapping him on the arms and shoulders with one hand – the one with the flower in it – while her other hand whizzed in and out of the man’s pockets like the Artful Dodger on steroids.
She also tried to get into his zipped shoulder bag. When she left, I thought I would do the Good Samaritan bit and politely advised him to make sure he still had all his belongings. He was convinced that she had not been able to get anything because his money was ‘safe’.
I pointed out that these people are very good at what they do but he was not particularly interested. Having done my bit I continued on my way. I only hope that when he did eventually check his pockets and bag that nothing was amiss.
It was actually the first time I had been in such a position to clearly see exactly what was going during the whole encounter.