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This programme contains strong language and some adult content.
Summer 2013 - unsuspecting Brits are flying into a crimewave in Spain.
You're constantly like, where's my bag?
Is my zip open? ls my pocket open? Who's that standing behind me?
A new type of pickpocket, more brazen and cunning than ever before,
armed with an array of new criminal tricks, is targeting the unwary.
The reptile is a particularly sneaky pickpocket
and he will target you whilst you're having sex on the beach.
Professional dippers who know how to play the system.
You can quite happily go through the day stealing from people
and nothing will happen to you.
Next thing I know they're running off and that was me wallet gone.
They're absolute vermin. Scumbags. Absolute scumbags, they are.
We have exclusive access to the undercover police,
as they attempt to fight back.
And we're with a hardy group of expats...
Rickshaw taxi!
..with their unique ways of trying to protect their fellow Brits.
I'll physically stop pickpockets from getting on a train
when they're about to put their hand in someone's bag.
You see it all the time and you try and stop it if you can stop it.
For Brits abroad,
Spain is the most likely place in the world to be dipped.
And there's a warning to Britain.
All of the pickpockets say that they want to go to London.
With London the number one destination for European tourists
and just a short flight away,
the UK's a tempting destination for the East European gangs.
home of Gaudi and alfresco dining,
draws over 1.5 million British tourists every year,
many of whom are blissfully unaware that they are attracting
a certain type of criminal.
The pickpockets are targeting the British tourists
simply because they view them as having a great deal of money.
You don't have to be rich in our country
to be considered rich by these guys.
The Brits are the biggest foreign spenders in Spain, parting with
over 4.5 million euro first six months of this year alone.
Which makes them a target for some of the most unscrupulous
pickpocket gangs in Europe.
So London, yeah, that's got its dippers,
Paris has got plenty of pickpockets, but Barcelona at the moment,
they're in the Premier League, they're the dons of the trade.
The Montjuic Park area of Barcelona and a team of undercover
police officers are on the trail of two known pickpockets.
These are the two suspects in a queue of tourists.
This police officer, posing as a tourist, is waiting to pounce.
But he can only stop the men if he sees them attempt a dip.
When pickpockets work in pairs,
one will do the dip whilst the other one carries the goods away.
This ensures they don't get caught red-handed.
The undercover j the two suspects to an outdoor cafe.
A closer look reveals the man in purple to be Ley Karavan,
a known pickpocket from Romania.
Right now.
The suspects move off towards the Olympic Stadium.
Under Spanish law, convicted pickpockets can only receive
a prison sentence if they are found to have stolen 400 euros or more.
Any less, and the most the offenders will get is a cautionary fine.
From that position we have the view of the two.
Now, the nervous wait
for the two pickpockets to make a move on a tourist.
Ley and his accomplice move in.
A hand goes into a bag and they move away.
It's just what the police have been waiting for.
Ley and his friend are detained, whilst the police officer tries
to explain what has happened to two rather confused British tourists.
He... He opened the bag. He opened the bag.Yes. Goodness!
Where are you from? Er, well, we're from England,
but this fella came around and I thought this fella's attacking him,
there's some private disagreement.
I never even noticed these guys.
I... I... I lost sight... You know, I wasn't even looking at that.
Don't get excited, Peter, don't get excited.
The police search the men,
only for Ley to offer to expose himself to the cameras.
This time, the tourists escape without losing any money.
Good news for them, but not necessarily for the police.
All they can do now is bail the pickpockets to appear in court,
where the most punishment they can expect
is a statutory fine of between 100 and 300 euros.
Pickpocketing is a professional game.
Like any other business, it's about risk and return.
You steal 300, you get fined 100, so what?
In 2012, almost 2,000 British tourists were robbed in Barcelona.
Faced with such a challenge,
an unlikely group of expats have decided to take on the dippers.
Mates Danny, Mike and Pete relocated from Liverpool to Barcelona
four years ago and now work as rickshaw drivers on the seafront.
Welcome to our office.
Who doesn't like a nice, friendly pair of Scousers
who AREN'T out to rob them?!
Recently, the intrepid chauffeurs have taken it upon themselves
to try and protect the tourists against the dipper gangs.
They're absolute vermin.
I'm disgraced by it, like, because you're dealing with it every day.
just one warning, really.
There's lots of thieves operate on the beach, so just be careful.
Always look after your bags and keep them in front of you.All right.
Rather than behind. Hey, buddy.
I just thought I'd warn you that there are a lot of thieves
who are operating here and if this is even just slightly
out of sight, they could whip it really quick and escape on a bike.
Thank you. No problem.
It could be the first day of the holiday.
They get this little bit of time to go and enjoy themselves and there's
nothing worse than having that taken away from you right at the beginning.
Not surprisingly,
the dipper gangs don't appreciate the Scousers' campaign.
Wheeling rickshaws, we meet a lot of tourists who come through the city.
We were warning people off of the thieves,
as the thieves were stealing their things and the thieves came up to us
and threatened us directly and said, "This is my job.
"You do your job and we'll stay out of each other's way."
And that was a pretty direct threat
and it meant that there's a lot of us,
sometimes we are carrying knives, and things like that,
so don't mess around with us.
Hola! ALL:Hola!
The trio have now developed more subtle methods of warning tourists.
If I see a guy coming up, I'll just go...
RINGS BELL LOUDLV ..rickshaw taxi!
And then the person turns around, sees the guy going for the bag,
and at least I've warned them, in my own kind of way,
without going up to them and saying,
"You're going to get robbed," do you know?
I've seen these guys since I've been here.
God knows how many times I've seen them being arrested.
But there's four guys and they're looking down onto people
and they're sussing things out.
Danny has just spotted four men he believes to be
a gang of working pickpockets on the seafront.
We'll just follow them behind and, hopefully, we'll catch something.
They're actually going down to the beach now.
They're looking for people who they can pick off,
who have gone into the sea, left their bags unattended
and they've obviously spied something, so they're heading down,
so I think we should go over and see if we can catch something.
They're definitely up to something.
They're talking to people on the rocks.
They've got groups of people on the rocks.
To catch them in the act would be absolutely fantastic.
Go, "There you are. Show that to the police."
The gang realise they are being observed.
A man raises his hand in recognition.
But at least one group of tourists and their wallets have been saved.
In Barcelona, the pickpocket will use every means possible
to get at the valuables of unsuspecting British tourists.
Probably, my favourite scam in the history of scanning
is the midget-in-the-bag scam. Brilliant.
This took me by surprise, about the level of ingenuity
I'm seeing in the mind of the thieves.
This is Miquelon, whose name means "Big Miguel".
He's the key to the most ingenious theft scam ever.
Take it away, Miquelon.
The man-in-a bag scam involves a small person,
or a contortionist, who is able to climb inside a tourist travel bag.
This coach is packed full of tourists and their valuables,
which are safely in the hold.
Or so they think.
Miquelon is out the bag, surrounded by tourist treasure,
and his pilfering hands are hard at work.
He's back in the bag and no-one even knew he was there.
But this isn't the only cunning trick designed
to part tourists from their cash.
Coming up, the devious new tricks being played on British tourists.
The mute petition is a beautiful scam.
The consul official who tries to pick up the pieces...
Keep your wits about you and get a bag with a zip.
..and the dipper gangs move down the coast to the seaside resorts.
They're perfect for the pickpockets.
..where a different breed of dipper comes out play.
Over 13 million British tourists will visit Spain this year,
many blissfully unaware that
Eastern European pickpocket gangs are waiting to prey on them.
Hi guys. Having your bags on the beach, you know,
it's a really bad spot, this area, for pickpockets, for bag snatchers,
OK? So if you just be aware of it, don't put your bags behind you,
keep them close.Thank you very much.You're very welcome.
No worries, cheers. All the best, take care.
Basically, she's got my wallet, so, if we're going to lose it,
she's in trouble!
You'll meet at least one person a day who's been robbed, and
if it's a stag do, there'll be four or five of them have been robbed.
In one night.ln one night.
And they go, and all their mates go, "Ha-ha, he's been robbed."
Only to get robbed that same night.
I would say that the Brits are very unprepared for the type
of crime that they might see.
# Championes! #
They would never dream, I think, of how brazen
and how close into people's personal space the thieves are willing to go.
We were just talking to these Spanish lads,
we were pretty bevvied up, so we'd
had a few drinks, and they were just talking to us, and we were kind of
dancing and that, and the next thing I know, they're all running off.
That was me wallet gone.
Being an ex-crime prevention officer, I keep it in me sock.
Anything to stop the buggers.
With both British tourists and local police on their guard,
the pickpockets are becoming ever more inventive.
The pickpockets have to create new tricks,
because it's difficult for the pickpockets
if the police know their tricks.
PC Meri of the Mossos police has been alerted to
a gang of women outside Barcelona's Sagrada Familia
who are fleecing tourists with one of these new, devious techniques.
It's called the mute petition scam.
The mute petition is a beautiful scam.
It plays on our conscience
and allows the pickpocket to get in close whilst he does the dip.
The pretend mute will approach with the petition to raise
money for the bogus charity.
The victim, feeling sympathetic,
will come in close to sign the petition.
This will allow the pickpocket to work his magic underneath.
Outside the Sagrada Familia, cameras pick up a gang of women
with purple folders asking tourists to sign a petition.
With the victim suitably distracted by the petition board, you can see
the pickpockets helping themselves to the contents of this woman's bag.
A tug to open the zip...
..and then in, to take the cash.
PC Meri and her team close in
on another gang of women at the location.
Here's two of the gang with clipboards
and petitions in their hands.
Yes, come on, because one of these girls is very... She knows me.
Two of the female pickpockets approach some tourists
whilst the other two keep a lookout.
There's a hand movement off-camera.
The team can't be sure, but a girl could have made a dip.
The call is made to stop and search them.
It seems that the girls have voices after all,
though they are in no hurry to confess.
The girls are Bosnian, and all under 25,
which is not unusually young for the gangs.
The people who are stealing are probably between 11
and early 30s, and often it's the third or fourth
generation of thief who's come to Barcelona to do that.
The girls are not found with any money on them
but they have been caught with fake petitions,
so they are cuffed and taken back to the station for further questioning.
This year there's been a 20% rise
in the number of British tourists losing passports in Barcelona.
Many due to the dipper gangs.
And if you're one of these unlucky Brits,
your most likely port of call is here.
Hi there.Her Majesty's Consulate. I've lost my passport.
OK, what's happened?lt got stolen early Friday morning.Oh...
28-year-old Leanne is on the front line,
dealing with distressed Brits.
Hello there, I can take payment now. It's 116 euros.
'lt's very, very busy this morning.'
We've had about 10 people come through the doors.
I had barely opened the door and everyone was coming in.
I'd left my bag with my girlfriend in the bar.
I went to the loo, some men distracted her and then...
You're constantly, like, where's my bag? ls my zip open?
Is my pocket open? Who's that standing behind me?
My bag was ripped and everything fell out on the floor.Right.
So, consequently, I've lost my passport, credit card, money...
Maurice had only been in Barcelona a day
before being hit by the dippers.
I've been able to live on about ten euros a day.
Oh, goodness, just enough to eat.
Losing your cash and belongings to a thief is bad enough
but to get yourself home, you've got to shell out for an emergency
travel document, costing 116 euros.
And if you haven't got enough money, it means phoning a friend.
But I just thought I'd let you know now that
if the lady asks for 50 euros, it's OK with you, you know?
He's a very, sort of, typical Brit.
You don't want to bother anyone,
you don't want to over-inconvenience anyone.
the whole document, 116 euros?"
"No, no, I don't want them to pay any more than what they have to."
Very British, I think. Maurice...
Finally, Maurice's documents are ready.We're all done.
That's you, all done. Thanks for your help, anyway.
You're very welcome. Safe trip home.
Yeah, muchas gracias!De nada! Bye!
Another happy customer.
My top tip would be, keep your wits about you, and get a bag with a zip.
If you've got a man-bag, get a man-bag with a zip.
Quite trendy these days, for metrosexual men.
Historically, Barcelona has been the pickpocketing centre of Spain.
But over the years,
dipper gangs have popped up further down the coast to work pastures new.
The Brits abroad, they are easy targets.
At night time, it gets worse for them.
When they get loud, they get drunk, they become easy targets
and one thing that does stick out is they always carry a lot of cash.
In the summer months, Benidorm can take on the nickname "Mini Britain",
with hoards of Brits flying in.
And waiting for them are the pickpockets,
ready to take advantage of the happy...
..the tired...
and the worse for drink.
Here, seen in another popular Spanish resort, a pickpocket lifts
a drunk victim's wallet and offloads it to his accomplice behind.
Realising he's been had, the victim confronts the pickpocket,
leaving the accomplice to take the cash and dump the wallet, job done.
Charged with protecting the Brits at night is Sergeant Enrique,
who leads an undercover team that targets the pickpocket gangs.
Now, we are in the centre of the British area.
This is the main road in this area. This is Majorca Street.
We find here some drunk people.
They are perfect victims for the pickpockets.
Victims here tend to match a particular profile.
Listen, mate, listen, mate.
Listen, I'm a police officer, OK, I'm a police officer.
Listen up, please, listen up.
Save your mobile phone, maybe it can be stolen, OK?
Be safe in your wallet, OK?
As the night wears on,
couples move down to the beach for some getting-to-know-you time.
But they're not alone, because dangers lurk under the sun loungers.
So it's not only the strip that's on Enrique's patrol route.
The people come here to the beach from the British area.
They come here to have sex, or to have a swim
and the pickpockets are waiting.
As the couples get amorous on the beach,
a particular breed of pickpocket is waiting to prey on the unwary.
So the reptile is a particularly sneaky pickpocket
and he will target you while you're having sex on the beach.
These cheeky pickpockets have reached an all-time low.
This little trick is called the reptile.
It doesn't require any distraction
but it does require a lot of patience and extreme stealth.
Step one. I am looking for my victims. And there they are now.
They are in the throes of passion and they've forgotten all about their bag.
Step two. I pretended to enjoy the scenery, but I'm actually eyeing up their bag.
Step two. I pretended to enjoy the scenery, but I'm actually eyeing up their bag.
Step three. I sit down and wait for the passion to heat up.
Step four. As the passion reaches its peak, I perform the reptile.
It's all in the elbows.
Back in Benidorm,
this skinny-dipper has just left her valuables on a sun lounger.
And this reptile is waiting for his break.
Keeping one eye on the oblivious bather,
he slips out from under the sun loungers.
Helps himself to all the goods.
And slithers back under his rock.
With the full moon shining,
this woman's belongings are there for the taking.
The reptile pokes his head out to check the coast is clear.
This time, he is too slow.
Pipped at the post.
Here, we join the action at its climax.
No stealth necessary this time.
But with the cab fare gone,
at least this victim can start the long walk home.
Coming up:
The carjackers who target the tourists on the road.
You've got the cash, the cameras, the bling. It's all in the hired car.
How a footballer's name can spell disaster for an unwary tourist.
Ronaldinho! Ronaldinho! Ronaldinho!
on the metro.
It doesn't mean that I'm a vigilante.
I'm just an ordinary person, fed up with what's going on.
For many British tourists arriving in Spain,
the first experience of the holiday is collecting the hire car.
But getting from the airport to your hotel without being ripped off
is not as easy as it seems.
The gangs in Spain are quick to learn. They've soon realised that
all the tourists leaving the airport
have got all their gear in one place.
They've got their cash, their cameras, their bling.
It's all in the hired car.
The AP7 motorway follows the east coast of Spain
and claimed 140 British tourists,
who were victims of carjacking last year.
Here, a carjacking is captured by a Mossos police CCTV unit.
The carjackers in the front car have persuaded the rear car to pull over
and convince everyone to get out and look at the rear wheel.
Whilst the holiday-makers are distracted
a second pickpocket pilfers the belongings
in the front seat of the car.
Bag nabbed, they make a speedy exit.
On the AP7,
an undercover police team are on the trail of suspect carjackers.
Sergeant jordi and the team are on the lookout for a Seat Leon.
It's the car here, in the fast lane.
Now, they can only wait and see if they make a move.
The carjackers use every trick in the book.
Here they use a woman as bait
to entice a group of female tourists out of their car.
The trusting holiday-maker gets out, unsure of what's going on.
As she's being distracted, the carjackers reverse
and get right up close to the car behind, enabling a quicker get away.
A second man sneaks out and gets into the front of the hire car,
unaware there's another passenger inside.
Meanwhile, the carjacker pulls out onto the highway,
so he can make a swift getaway.
This gang were not only guilty of bag-snatching
but also a bit of dangerous driving to boot.
It looks like the gang have spotted the police tail
as they make a move to pull off the motorway.
It's time to make a stop.
Records show the police were right to have their suspicions.
The driver of the car does not have a valid driving licence,
so the car is impounded.
But with no incriminating evidence,
this time the police have to let the men go.
Of the one and a half million British tourists
arriving in Spain in just one month, this summer,
many will take their first venture out after dark.
Wide-eyed, excited, and sometimes the worse for drink,
they become vulnerable to a host of night-time thieves.
The pickpockets can sniff out The first-nighters.
Their guard's down, they're overexcited
and their pockets are full of cash.
In Barcelona, it's the night of the San juan festival.
The beaches are packed with thousands of revellers,
including tanked-up Brits and the opportunist dipper.
You're not going to miss this.
This is big payday if you're a pickpocket.
Amongst the party-goers are British expat brothers Matt and Dan.
If you walk by here at five o'clock this morning,
how many people that are going to be here, asleep on the beach?
When they'll wake up, they'll have nothing on them.
No keys, no wallet, no phone...
Some people have this experience every year.
"Oh, I got robbed last year... Yeah, I got robbed this year again."
As the night roles on,
the pickpockets start their underhand work.
This man in the striped T-shirt
seems to shuffling with a bag in front of him.
He pulls out what looks like a mobile phone
and slyly tucks it under a coat to his left.
As the bather comes out of the sea, the man scoops up the coat
and both him and the mobile phone disappear.
Here the man in white slides up to a bag.
Luckily the bag's owner spots him.
The Barcelona dippers work the beach, night and day.
Some of the more weary expats
have devised their own anti bag-snatching technique
for the beach.
I'm on Barcelona beach, and I'm going to show you the best anti-theft tip,
it's called The Peacock.
Step one, move your valuables in front of your towel.
Step two, always face your valuables.
Step three, walk backwards into the sea.
Step four, I then perform a peacock. It's all about bravado.
Hands on hips, chest out, foot forward, as if to say,
"Touch my stuff and I'll be 'avin 'ya!"
You may have survived the beach,
but the alleyways of Barcelona hold more potential dangers.
They're home to a cunning trick
that plays on the universal love for the local football team
and is named after one of the club's greatest stars, Ronaldinho.
The more inebriated the victim is, the better.
Yeah, a guy would come up to you and be like, "Oh, you like football?
"You like Ronaldinho? Ronaldinho..."
And I'm like, "Wow!" And he's already got my phone,
my wallet, whatever.
Here, on this side street, you can see the Ronaldinho in action.
Three men are apparently playing football.
Then a man in a white shirt appears, who becomes the target.
The pickpocket chases the man down
and tries to engage him in football banter.
And here comes the Ronaldinho step-over.
But the man in the white shirt is wise to it
and keeps him at arm's length.
This time, the target escapes with his wallet intact.
So, your wallet has survived the pickpockets on the beach,
you've dodged the Ronaldinho,
but there's always one final obstacle that can catch you out
on your way home.
If you want, you can find a prostitute in this corner,
do you see, with yellow shirt
and black trousers.
She's a prostitute, but sometimes pickpocket.
These girls target lone drunk males as they stagger back to their hotels
and appear to be after the money without added extras.
This chap has attracted the attention of two ladies,
who look to be helping him back to his apartment.
Instead, after a brief distraction,
they're helping themselves to his cash.
A new day, and a regular face is back out at work.
Lei Caravan, the Romanian pickpocket
caught at the Olympic Stadium,
is amongst the crowds of tourists at the Plaza de Cathedral.
Lei seems quite relaxed as he goes about his business,
even after spotting our camera.
In plain sight, he eases in next to a black handbag and cops a feel.
A bit too heavy-handed, so Lei moves on.
In Spain, a pickpocket will not be given a prison sentence
for an attempted dip.
So, it's worthwhile sticking around to have another go,
without worrying who's watching you.
Lei has spotted another tourist, with another bag.
Can he get inside this one?
Clearly not.
So, will it be a case of third time lucky?
The map comes up on top of the bag.
And his mischievous fingers go to work underneath.
He's busted.
Do you want to tell me what you're doing?
Are you a pickpocket?
For the average tourist, being hit by the dippers
is hopefully a once-a-holiday experience.
But for the British expats, there is growing frustration
in seeing the same pickpockets return to work
again and again and again...
It's so common to see someone be actually caught for robbing
and then to be back on the streets within an hour or two,
doing the same crime and re-arrested for the same crime.
I'd say angry and frustrated are the two good descriptions
of how you feel when you have this continually happening around you.
One expat in particular has had enough.
My friends, when they've been to visit me in Barcelona,
have been robbed. My parents have been robbed,
my colleagues from work have been robbed and that's really sad.
Friends and family come to Barcelona and that happens to them.
He doesn't want the pickpockets knowing his real name,
so goes by the pseudonym, Shaun.
It's got to a point where it was so bad
that we were thinking,
well, we could leave Barcelona for that reason.
He has come up with his own way of dealing with the problem.
This is Shaun's footage.
He now films the pickpockets on his mobile phone
on his way to work every morning.
The main motivation for taking photos and video is
it's a way of channelling an anger and a frustration at what's going on
and sometimes the act of filming, when they can see you're filming,
sometimes is enough in itself for them to stop what's happening
and for them to try and disappear out of this situation.
Shaun has come in for a fair bit of abuse
for his novel, if slightly eccentric,
approach to the pickpockets.
And there's one, two, three, four, sitting on the bench,
who've spotted me.
One, particularly cunning technique witnessed by Shaun
is known as La Mancha. In English, "The Stain".
La Mancha relies on a team of three thieves to outwit the victim.
The first thief deposits a mark on the victim's back or shoulder.
A so-called passer by points out the stain
and the man puts his bag down on the floor to investigate.
While he's distracted,
a third man sneaks in and makes off with his bag.
Here, on this CCTV, a backpacker is the victim.
The man in the white T-shirt
deposits a mark on the backpacker's shoulder.
Thief number two moves in to distract her.
And an unseen third man helps himself to her laptop.
Despite the abuse he receives, Shaun believes his actions are justified.
And doesn't plan to end his campaign any day soon.
The fact that I've witnessed too much for my own liking in Barcelona
and taken photos, or rung the police,
or stopped what's happening on several occasions,
doesn't mean that I'm a vigilante or anything like that.
It's just an ordinary person, living in Barcelona,
fed up with what's going on.
Coming up...
A new initiative on the metro is getting results.
The Kosovan is caught bag-snatching.
He can be arrested at the end!
And as Danny offers words of wisdom to the tourists...
Put your bag on the inside,
it's very bad for pickpockets here, really bad.
..there's a warning for the UK.
A lot of pickpockets say that they want to go to London.
Hi, girls. Do you speak English?
It's Saturday afternoon in Barcelona,
and Danny, Mike and Pete are back out on dipper patrol.
Someone will come and they will talk to you here, blah, blah, blah.
And then they will take the bag, OK? So, please, please, move it forward.
Thank you very much. Enjoy, girls. Bye-bye.
They were French. And I am not.
I think they just thought I'd come to have a perv at them.
The beaches and alleyways of Barcelona will always be
prime locations for the pickpockets,
but there is one other favoured by the gangs - underground.
There's more thieves than ever before on the Metros.
You've just got so many people in a small space.
And balancing bags and belongings at the ticket office
requires you to have eyes in the back of your head.
This CCTV is showing a victim at the ticket office window.
He has left his luggage unattended.
A team of three thieves come in,
and two block the view of the customers at the windows
while a third swaps over an empty rucksack
for the victim's bag full of goodies.
With 150 pickpockets working the Metro daily,
the Mossos Police have launched an initiative called Operation Cha-cha
to target the dippers.
Undercover police officer Davide is after two female suspects
on the red line at Urquinaona Station.
He is looking for these women who do not take too kindly to being filmed.
Ask them why they are down here,
why they're just staying on the platforms?
For the police, it is a race to get to the platform
before the next train leaves.
Fortunately, they don't get on the train.
This group of suspected pickpockets are well known to Officer Davide.
Pickpockets target passengers during the hustle
and bustle of getting on and off trains.
It is an easy excuse to bump into someone and it disguises the theft.
Off-camera, PC Davide spots an attempted dip
and springs into action.
He detains three women.
Result - a wallet.
These three persons go inside the Metro, and the last women,
outside with this wallet in this position.
I have got a credit card with the name of the victim. 80 euros.
You have the victim, photocopy. Germany.
It is a small success for Operation Cha-cha.
These three are thrown out of the station and told to go home.
The girls try to head back to the metro,
but not before Sergeant Davide points them in the right direction.
To the exit.
Repeat offenders see pickpocketing as a way of life.
They can earn between 20,000 and 60,000 euros a year.
So if you are taking on that kind of cash, it is very lucrative.
Why not be a pickpocket?
Tonight, Operation Cha-cha may have scored a success
against one repeat offender.
Well, the pickpocket is one man that I have been following him
four times this week.
The last time we met this man,
he'd been detained as a suspected carjacker.
He's finally been caught with an accomplice for
a bag snatch on the metro.
And this time his luck may be out.
Those two men was taking the bag from this man.
He had more than 400 euros, so he will be arrested.
The stolen bag contains a laptop, passport and three mobile phones.
The total value of the goods is more than 400 euros, so Operation Cha-cha
can notch up another hit
by removing one more repeat offender from the streets.
He can be arrested at the end!
I am happy for that.
Out on the Ramblas, Danny and Mike have an evening off from rickshaws.
Though their other job never seems to end.
Over there, Mike, look.
Excuse me, mate, you might want to be careful with your bag here.
It's very bad for pickpockets here. Very bad.
Them guys, see the fucking camera, innit?
See the two guys get off then?Yeah!
Fucking legged it! Straight down the fucking street.
But Danny and Mike remain philosophical about the impact
they can have on the pickpockets.
It's nice being a good Samaritan with me little rickshaw,
riding around, waving at people.
"Rickshaw, girls?" Ring, ring, ring. "You're getting robbed!"
With the East European gangs able to move quickly
and easily across national boundaries, there is
only so much anyone can do to contain the problem.
When the borders were opened up here to the Eastern Europeans,
there's been a big influx of people coming from those places to do crime.
So there is a risk that a similar thing could happen in UK.
The UK has much stricter laws concerning pickpockets.
An attempted theft can get you a three-to-six-month prison sentence.
But Britain can't be complacent.
They are obviously travelling from one city to another city
to another city.
Once things get a bit too hot in one place,
then they move to another place where they are not recognised.
London is the biggest tourist centre in Europe and, with cheap, short
flights, it's a tempting prospect for the dipper gangs based in Spain.
A lot of pickpockets say they want to go to London, because in London
there are a lot of tourists, more people to steal from, the tourists.
Where's Mike's bike?
Of course, wherever you are in the world,
pickpockets do have their standards.
Would you look at that? I've still got a bike!
It's not very robbable, really, is it?
There's another thing, don't get a very nice bike.
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The secrets of the pickpockets - Barcelona

6759 Folder Collection
hohoyao published on April 8, 2015
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