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"Putpockets" Giving Back a Little Extra Cash

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the change-you-can-spend dept.

Idle 14

Knowing that a bad economy is immune to sneak attacks, a group of ex-rogues are creeping around London tourist sites and slipping money into peoples pockets. The "Putpockets" were hired by a broadband company and will be stalking tourist spots until the end of the month. Unsuspecting tourist can find anything from 5 pound to 20 pound notes slipped into pockets or unguarded handbags. "It feels good to give something back for a change -- and Britons certainly need it in the current economic climate. Every time I put money back in someone's pocket, I feel less guilty about the fact I spent many years taking it out," said Chris Fitch, a former pickpocket.

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Wonderful. (3, Insightful)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29139905)

Now people will assume it's no big deal if someone bumps into them. They'll be less guarded because they think that it could be a so-called "putpocket" instead of a pickpocket. Bad idea.

Great alibi! (3, Funny)

SOdhner (1619761) | more than 5 years ago | (#29140407)

No, no! I wasn't taking money OUT of your purse - I was putting more in! Yeah, that's the ticket!

Re:Great alibi! (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156593)

No, no! I wasn't taking money OUT of your purse - I was putting more in! Yeah, that's the ticket!

Well, this is the UK. So, if there is any doubt, they can just get the police to replay the footage.

It should still be a crime.... (2)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#29148611)

It is a violation of personal space, but I guess since the UK has cameras everywhere and herd mentality of enforcing their social contract then it is not surprising to see them to use tricks like this to re-enforce the whole Nanny state/Big Brother mentality.

Re:It should still be a crime.... (2, Insightful)

stagg (1606187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29151011)

If they were stealing the wallet, placing money in it and returning it I would imagine that it could still be considered theft. It sounds like they don't go that far, but I'm still surprised that any company is willing to risk the possible PR backlash or legal problems that could be spurred by something like this. -You are still invading that person's personal space, and lately the courts haven't been very forgiving of those who grope strangers. -Inevitably one of the employees planting money will get caught, and possibly even injured. I don't imagine they'll have time to explain their contract before the victim assumes that their intent was leaning more toward sexual assault or theft.

Re:It should still be a crime.... (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155509)

Note that it says they're not taking wallets- they're putting the money in to unguarded pockets/purses. And really, what are you going to do? "Officer, this man tried to put money in my pocket!!" You'd be laughed out of the police station.
That said, it's incredibly easy to do without being noticed. Much easier than pickpocketing, which requires you to remove something- they're much more likely to notice the weight difference of a missing wallet than that of a new £20 bill.

Re:It should still be a crime.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29154783)

+1 xenophobia

Re:It should still be a crime.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171153)

Our guys learnt this sort of Big Brother stuff from a country called the USA, and as for our social contract - yeah we are too far left at the moment, but you guys are too far right. Look at New Orleans, still a wreck. The richest nation on Earth and you cant even spare a few dollars to look after your own people!

Re:It should still be a crime.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29247427)

Sure, but are you really going to go after someone legally for giving you money? The point is not to get caught, anyway. That's like saying a salesman who is over eager to shake your hand is committing a crime because you did not actually want to shake his hand. You're not really going to go and sue him for that, and this guy is trying to sell you something.

Personally... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#29150191)

I slipped a $100 bill into someone's purse once. I really wish I'd have been able to see her reaction when she found it, but ah well...

Re:Personally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155405)

She probably said: "Dammit! I told that John it was $200!"

copycat? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#29173925)

I can't believe someone hasn't mentioned that this was a marketing commercial from the American fast food restaurant Burger King. []

Here is just the commercial [] in case anyone wants to skip the blog post. I'm not sure who's blog it is or if they have bandwidth restrictions or not.

Unintended consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29237781)

Oh great. As likely as being pleasantly surprised, the putpocket victim will now agonize over where it came from, or even assume that they seriously messed up somewhere. "Oh no, I just sent great-grandma off in that cab without her fare!"

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