Pickpockets and con men are known for being masters of disguise, for blending in, for smoothly getting away with our valuables. Well, this group of women takes that to a whoooole new level.
A gang of pregnant women has been arrested in Bangalore, India. For pickpocketing.
It’s a perfect scheme, right? Who is ever going to suspect a pregnant woman of picking their pockets? Moms are often viewed through the same lens as children when it comes to crime -- how could they? Well, I never!
The women spent their days riding the buses through the city -- and if you’ve ever seen images of the buses in India, you know they are usually packed. Which makes pickpocketing much easier -- all that jostling, and you’d never notice someone’s hand slipping into your pocket or removing a gold chain from your neck.
The women’s disguises? They simply dressed well. Between the pregnant belly and normal, middle class clothing, no one suspected them of quietly robbing people as they rode the bus. They blended in perfectly, as every pickpocket does. Their technique was simple, but smart: They would surround the intended victim and use the speed and motion of the bus to brush the person from all sides. In no time at all, one of the women had lifted the jewelry or money and passed it off to a second woman. And the second they thought they were caught, or even suspected, the women would fake a faint or claim to be in pain in order to get off the bus.
It just so happened that one passenger happened to notice that the pregnant woman next to her was about to filch her gold chain -- she then called out and other passengers came to her aid.
The women were all arrested, but remanded to judicial custody, rather than jail, since they were all near term. They will be tried in several jurisdictions since the buses were in motion as the crimes were committed.
At first, I snickered a little when I read this story -- there is something inherently silly about a roving band of pregnant pickpockets. But reviewing the situation, these women were stealing because their husbands refused to work. It was their only way to get money. The poverty in India is staggering, so it’s no real surprise that anyone would turn to theft in order to eat.
Image via Mid-Day.com