An older man became the target of a pickpocket scheme in the District last week, and it was caught on camera.
Surveillance video from a parking garage elevator in the 2100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest D.C. showed the crime in action.
The victim was an older man using a cane. The more experienced pickpocket was standing in the back wearing a dark suit and a hat. His accomplice was the man in the white shirt standing in front of him.
"It was 98 degrees pretty much all last week. I have to wear a sport coat, but they [pickpockets] wear a sport coat in the summertime. That's kind of a telltale sign that they're up to something," said Det. Sgt. Vernon Clayton, head of the pickpocket detail for Metro Transit Police.
As the victim prepared to leave the elevator, the first person of interest got off and dropped something. When the victim backed up, the second person of interest adjusted himself to access the man's wallet.
Clayton said pickpockets generally have a prop to cover their hands. In this case, the alleged pickpocket used his coat.
"What he did was use his hands with his jacket covering his hands, so he can manipulate the wallet and pull it out," said Clayton.
Other props used by pickpockets include newspapers, bags and suitcases.
Clayton said pickpockets are mostly found in crowds. That's why it's so important to know where your wallet is located at all times.
Police are still looking for the persons of interest from the video.
5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Watch for the set-up
- Keep your hand on your wallet
- Keep your purse close
- Don't hang your purse on a chair or in a grocery cart