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Tag Archives: Pickpocketing

Early American Crimes: Lush Workers

The lush worker is headed to the annals of early American crime. The New York Times recently reported that, according to the New York Police Department, a specific breed of pickpocket, the lush worker, will soon be extinct. The lush worker rides the New York City subways late at night looking for a drunken reveler […]

Early American Criminals: Thomas Mount’s Flash Songs

Note: This post continues “Thomas Mount’s Crime Tips.” Long before Nicholas Pileggi wrote Wiseguy and revealed the inner-workings of present-day organized crime, Thomas Mount in 1791 disclosed the secrets of the Flash Company, a gang of burglars, thieves, and highwaymen. As a part of his revelations, Mount asked that the language and songs of […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: artful dodger

artful dodger – someone who avoids lodging in the same place twice out of fear of arrest. Fagan, the Artful Dodger, and Oliver Twist. Image via Wikipedia In England, the term also meant either a lodger or an expert thief. The Artful Dodger was, of course, the name of Fagan’s top child-pickpocket in Charles Dickens’s […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: amuse

amuse – 1. to fling dust into someone’s eyes in order to distract them; 2. to tell a false tale in order to distract and then rob an unsuspecting victim; to “entertain” deceptively. Amusers threw dust or pepper, which they kept in their pockets, into the eyes of someone they wanted to rob. As the […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: Adam

Adam – a henchman, an accomplice. The word is also used in combination, as in Adam tiler (or tyler), a pickpocket’s accomplice. This latter term refers to the person to whom the pickpocket quickly passes off his or her gains for safekeeping and to avoid suspicion. Sources: Matsell, George W. Vocabulum: Or, the Rogue’s Lexicon.. […]