read that the American pickpocket is become a rarity. Apparently the skills are deteriorating and most pickpockets today are older. The apprenticeship into pickpocketing is evaporating. It is now safer to carry a wallet in a large American city than at any point in the 20th century. I used to carry money in my shoe when I went to New York so I would have money to get home in case I was pickpocketed. Times Square was the world headquarters of the art. New Years eve was the international festival of pickpocketing.
However, the art still lives own in Europe. I once met a pickpocket there. It is comforting to know that certain crafts live on somewhere in the world if not here.