He and a woman who was a “cannon” (i.e. an expert pickpocket) would blend in with wealthy clientele at Manhattan happy hours and lift handbags and wallets from unsuspecting patrons.
From The Times:
Besides unattended purses, the easiest targets were hanging over the backs of chairs, even when the women were sitting in them. … Purses hanging from hooks under bar rails were also easy. When he saw a purse on the floor, he said he would use his foot or an umbrella to hook it and drag it closer.
“Those are the most common ways,” Mr. Christopher told The Times. “People are talking, they’re in their own worlds.”
After collecting the loot, he’d go straight to a drugstore, grab one or two gift cards because are basically untraceable — “Free money,” as Wilson writes — then pretend that he forgot a gift card for someone else after the cashier let him swipe the stolen credit card himself.
A favourite tactic then was to buy Kindle Fires and perhaps more gift cards at Staples, then sell fence the Kindles at electronic stores and self the gift cards for half price on the street.
He couldn’t help himself at his favourite restaurant, Red Lobster, because it’s so easy.
Then why, on March 25, did he steal a purse there? He shrugged and said, “It was right there.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.