Okay it is official I am not going to use a cash point in London any more!!!. Last night’s documentary on Channel 4 -The secret of Pickpockets – was shocking.
Not so much the Eastern European gangs targeting drunken revellers, they were brazen and the victim’s unfortunate, but it is arguably an avoidable situation. Or even the pocket or hand bag “dip” on the underground, more worrying but it is always on the back of my mind when I enter a crowded tube.
No, what really shocked me was the ATM scams. The barely noticeable card skimming devices and cameras that thieves fit to the ATM machines allowing them to steal details of tens if not hundreds of bank cards. Digital age pickpocketing, that scared me.
The skimming device looked just like a normal ATM card slot where you would insert your credit or debit card, and the mini cameras were equally imperceptible to the untrained eye. Really Scary stuff. I am not sure how widespread this practice is, but I will be making a note to use ATM inside banks as often as is practicable.
On a lighter side was the travails of one Constatine Radu. The 6ft-something pickpocket from Romania has almost certainly been put out of business by the programme, caught twice on by the Police owing in no small measure because his physique means he has no chance of blending into the crowd, a key ability of a successful pickpocket.
I doubt if anyone who watched it will forget his very distinctive face, described by the one of the police officers as something you find at the end of a witch doctors stick.
Hopefully after his 22 weeks prison sentence he look for a change in profession or at least seek pastures far from the UK for his nefarious activities.
- TV: Rachel Mainwaring reviews the week’s top telly (walesonline.co.uk)