Professional Pickpockets on Reykjavík’s Streets Skip to content

Professional Pickpockets on Reykjavík’s Streets

By Iceland Review

A woman was cornered by three individuals, allegedly of foreign origin, who stole her wallet while shopping inside a store in downtown Reykjavík on Monday. Another woman’s purse was cut open with a knife last weekend.

Reports like these, of organized pick-pocketing, are new to police authorities in Iceland. “It is not new that wallets are being snapped from people in a bustle, but I have not heard of many cases like these, that people sneak into the pockets of people as practiced in many countries abroad,” inspector Geir Jón Thórisson told Fréttabladid.

“One is naturally careful while traveling abroad, but it didn’t occur to me that this could happen in Iceland,” said Ragnheidur Gudjónsdóttir, who lost her wallet while shopping on Monday, ISK 30,000 (USD 473, EUR 329) in cash along with IDs and credit cards.

Gudjónsdóttir explained that two women and one man, who spoke in a foreign tongue, had stood unnaturally close to her inside the shop despite there being plenty of space. She had wondered what was wrong with them, but didn’t realize until she was at the cashier that they had snuck into her purse and stolen her wallet.

The other woman, who was recently targeted by pickpockets, did not lose her wallet because it was in a side pocket, although her purse was ruined after the attempted robbery. She had been waiting in line outside a nightclub with her friend and didn’t notice anything until she wanted to get some chewing gum from her purse.

“It is scary and it is only right to let people know about this so they can be prepared,” said her friend, Gudbjörg Jónsdóttir, concluding that the thieves must have been well equipped because it takes a really sharp knife to pierce such a thick leather purse as her friend had been carrying.

“These individuals are clearly professionals. They are determined to steal and they do it well, so people should watch their backs,” Thórisson said.

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