By Matt Doyle
Pickpocketing, an issue in any major city, seems to become a developing problem for Shanghai citizens in recent months – and we’re not just talking from personal experience (though, sadly, some of us have become recent victims).
Our sources at the U.S. Consulate said that they’ve been noticing more complaints. While usually pickpocketing in the city does rise during Chinese New Year (often affectionately termed “pickpocketing season”), they haven’t seen as much of a fall in the ensuing months – possible partially due to current economic situations.
Despite the absence of an official warning – they’ve said they need to wait for more information on before issuing one – the Consulate website does cite pickpocketing as something visitors generally need to be aware of.
Between recent message board stories and our own experiences, we think we’ll issue our own notice: THEY ARE OUT THERE AND THEY WANT YOUR MONEY.
Generally, tips for avoiding pickpocketing are pretty obvious. Don’t take out your wallet unless you must, make sure your bags are zipped closed with the openings in clear view of you at all times, and be especially alert in crowded places. There’s no need to worry about any Andy Lau-style “A World without Thieves” （天下无贼） antics. They aren’t super human, they’re just trained to take openings where they can find them.
In the meantime, maybe we should start something like the Haikou anti-pickpocket team here in Shanghai!