So when talking to the newbies in to Ghana I always warn them that they have to be careful of pick pockets. The Artful Dodger and Fagin's gang have nothing on the guys out here. They have some incredible techniques, as i mentioned in a previous post regarding the football stadium thieves. Obviously busy areas and clubs and any kind of event holds its risks.
I always mention that anyone needs to be careful on a Tro Tro. I have lost a phone and a camera over the years on a Tro Tro but today I saw an elaborate plan to steal. (I have been thinking about it ever since, I shouldn't be, but I am quite impressed with them!)
Right, here goes. I was with a volunteer, taking them to a placement. We were waiting for a Tro Tro and as we went to get on a gentleman said after you. As he said this a guy charged through to get on just in front of us. My volunteer sat in the middle seat between the guy that charged on and a random woman. I sat behind my volunteer and next to the guy that said 'after you'. (I hope your staying with me here!)
I can not remember an awful lot about the two men. The one next to me was not dressed badly. He had a pair of black shiny (quite smart) trainers on and was not dressed shabbily. The guy in front was dressed well to. Not in a suit but smart casual, maybe like the guys I used to go to the University of Ghana dress!
So when we came to pay the mate for our journey, the guy next to me passed his money to the row in front to give to the mate. Instead of passing it to the random lady who was closest to the mate, he passed it to the guy in front of me. (the one who had charged on!) who then passed it over to the mate. The mate gave him his change and he passed it back to the guy next to me. As he passed it he (accidentally?) dropped the two coins on the floor. (right at my feet)
I could see one of the coins so I picked it up and gave it to the guy. He then went about looking for the other coin. At one point he had his kneed dug into my leg. (which was a little painful) He was (i thought) looking around on the floor. I was focussing more on the fact that this guy was shoving his knee into my leg.
This is where I take the accolade of outsmarting the thief. (Although I was not quite sure if he was at this stage) I realised that the whole thing was a little strange, and this guy did not seem to be looking so hard. He had his bag right next to me and his hand was under the bag. The sneaky (f**k) was trying to sneak into my back pocket where my wallet was. He must have been looking at me for sometime before when I took my wallet out to prepare for the tro tro ride.
Anyway as I realised (kind of realised) that he was a little close for comfort and I put my hand on my back pocket, he sat up and said ' oh, I will just pick it up when you get off!' It was then my stop and I carefully slid passed the guy to get off. I was not quite sure if I was right of not at that stage so I did not make any accusations but after a little think I marveled at this thieving technique!
You should let me know if you know of any other techniques we need to watch out for!!