Venice is a great place to work--if you're a pickpocketer. It's the perfect environment: Crowded vaporetti. Crowded calles. Tourists overcome by the splendor of Venice--and not paying attention to the hand slipping into a purse, pocket, or backpack.
But now, according to an article in Slate, Venetians are fighting back. "A civilian antipickpocket patrol called Cittadini Non Distratti, or Undistracted Citizens. Members, who call themselves 'Citizens,' walk around Venice looking for pickpockets."
The "Citizens" or "Guardian Angels of Tourists" pay a small fee for membership in Cittadini Non Distratti and won't let the papers photograph them, so the pickpocketers don't recognize them. (The pickpocketers say they do recognize them.) Is it working? The region's chief justice thinks it is.