He and a female “cannon” (i.e., an expert pickpocket) would blend in with wealthy clientele during happy hours, lifting handbags and wallets from unsuspecting patrons.
Besides unattended purses, the easiest targets were hanging over the backs of chairs, even when the women were sitting in them. ... Purses hanging from hooks under bar rails were also easy. When he saw a purse on the floor, he said he would use his foot or an umbrella to hook it and drag it closer.
“Those are the most common ways,” Mr. Christopher told The Times. “People are talking, they’re in their own worlds.”
After collecting the loot, he'd go straight to a drugstore, grab one or two gift cards because they are basically untraceable — "Free money." as Wilson writes — then pretend that he forgot a gift card for someone else after the cashier let him swipe the stolen credit card himself.
The endgame would usually involve buying Kindle Fires and perhaps more gift cards at Staples and then selling the Kindles at electronics stores in Midtown and the gift cards on the street for half price .
Christopher couldn't even help himself at his favorite restaurant, Red Lobster, because it's so easy.
Then why, on March 25, did he steal a purse there? He shrugged and said, “It was right there.”
Editor's note: As reader Eric Phillips points out on our Facebook Page: "If you know how it can be done, then you know how it can be prevented."
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