Delhi Metro, Favourite ride of Dilliwallas around the capital. Easy on the pocket, Air conditioned and access to NCR. Delhi metro has it all, including pickpockets too.
Almost on a daily basis we hear complaints about wallets and phones getting lost. And the tricks used in this trade always amaze us! No matter how much a person tries to be careful, the wallet gets lost. Some people move on, like me who have lost almost 7 wallets in Delhi Metro, but then it’s hard for others. And especially when authorities like Delhi Police and Delhi Metro create a joke out of it by not registering complaints on time or providing proper manpower to curb the situation.
Based on true incidents which I have heard from my friends family and colleagues, here are a few amazing tricks pickpockets used to take away your wallet and other valuable items;
1. Traditional Pocket Maar
These sneaky bastards are the ones who camouflage his/her moves using the advantage of Metro crowd. Following the traditional move of easily slipping a hand in your pocket, he/she will take out the wallet and you won’t be able to notice or feel anything. Experience in this field ranges from innocent looking kids to super old aunties and uncles who act like a wolf in sheep’s clothing!
2. The Blade
Blade people are the ones who are skilled in using a single stroke of the blade to create an opening in your back pocket or handbag. Hard to spot in a crowded metro, the category of such people include the ones who sit on metro floors and use the excuse in front of authorities that we couldn’t find a seat! Once they see a handbag hanging, they simply slice it open from the bottom and whoosh your wallet goes!
3. Stalk Much?!
There are 1,000 eyes on you every time you step out of the home. Not to make you paranoid but then how can you know who is stalking you? Some of the pickpockets also have a stalking skill. They keep on stalking one prey continuously and strike when the time is right. They know which metro you board and at what time and may very easily corner you and rip you off in minutes. They make a note of your travel habits, how and where you keep your wallet and how many times you take it out to check or use the metro card for entry and exit.
4. Please stand away from the doors
One of the freakiest incident happened recently to a friend. She was travelling in the metro with her messenger bag in her front. Her station was about to come so she took out her wallet. A girl came and stood next to her who appeared to be pretty normal. As soon as the metro door opened at the station, the girl snatched her wallet out of her hand and ran away. Within seconds, the wallet was lost and the door closed again.
5. X-Ray Issues
People who board metro from Huda City Centre or interchanging stations like Kashmere gate or Rajiv Chowk, they know that while checking in all the bags, people get confused and pick up someone’s else’s bag from the carousel. People tend to realise their mistake and return the bag instantly. But this idea gave birth to a new trick of stealing. Now people simply pick up bags from the carousel and make a hasty entry. Risky though because CISF stands all around the carousel, but the pickpockets have honed their skills now. They have a perfect time gap between picking up the bag to making an entry and then boarding the metro.
6. Innocence at it’s best!
So once, a blind man was trying to board the metro. No metro official was around him because ideally, Delhi Metro has a facility of providing assistance to blind people. So a girl helped him out to Board the metro and even helped him getting down. Once she thought that he can move ahead on his own, she turned around towards her regular destination. She reached inside her bag to fish out the wallet but guess what, it was not there. Maybe the blind person cannot be blamed, maybe someone else took it. But then there have been numerous incidents like this on a daily basis, unreported to Delhi Metro authorities because the victim only isn’t sure about who did it.
In another incident, a woman was seeing carrying a toddler in her arms. Just like a regular person, she was ignored. But then there was a victim who caught her by chance, and even found out her wallet in her arms, concealed under her toddler’s clothes.
To curb such pick pocketing activities, Delhi Metro has many officials patrolling the trains on a daily basis and numerous customer care centres to lodge a complaint. But then when you go to them to lodge a complaint about pickpocketing, they simply say that pickpocketing is not covered under their jurisdiction. They have to go to a nearest police station to file a complaint and then any kind of action would be taken.
A situation like this creates a hassle for passengers too. A person who is already worried about losing a wallet including cards and cash has to roam around here and there to simply file a complaint. This also decreases the time window to catch the culprit. Ideally, at all metro stations there should be a facility to file complaints like this so that the victim doesn’t have to go here and there to get his grievances addressed.
Also, a few tips can also save the day for metro passengers. One should make sure to keep a tight grip on their bag while travelling. In case you use backpack laptop bags, hang them in the opposite direction. It means hanging the bag on your chest instead of your back so that pockets can be accessible and you can keep an eye on your stuff too. Apart from this make sure to keep checking wallet and other valuable items from time to time. Better be safe than sorry.