So, Ingredient #11: Maintain 130° at all times. This is crucial. You can mix up the most wonderful repellent, but failure to also incorporate 130° can turn a highly repellent “Stay Out!” into a “Welcome” mat in the blink of an eye.
Picture this. A person has a bag, carrying it correctly, doing everything right from the pickpocket avoidance standpoint. Pickpockets glance at them, mark them as too risky, and look for easier pickins. Now this person goes to an outdoor market, they lean over to look at a necktie, or necklace, or nectarine. Their bag flops down against the products or produce, so they automatically shove it backwards onto their hip.
Without realizing it, they have undone everything. They’re looking forward, their bag is in back, they’re in a location where it’s natural for someone else to come near to ‘look’ at the same items. A filch comes beside them, looks, and seconds later is moseying down the aisle with extra cash while our friend is still appraising a neckerchief.
130° is all about keeping our valuables in sight at all times. It is crucial, because pickpocket repellent only works where you can see. By keeping valuables within a 130° angle that is centered on your belly button, your ability to see any attempted reach-in is maximized, thereby deterring (assuming you’ve used all the other ingredients) the chance of a successful reach-in. (Conveniently, and entirely coincidental, our theft-deterrent satchels have a reminder emblazoned right on them)
You might be thinking, and rightly so, that your peripheral vision extends to a little over 180°. Very true, and that is the reason this is ingredient allows 130° instead of 90°. If you place your good stuff in the 130° safe zone, you’ll see it while looking straight ahead, and when you turn your head to the right or left. If directly to the side, there will be many times that it is completely out of site.
So, here are some rules to help you keep ingredient #11 in your repellent at all times. We should all follow them, thereby encouraging the pickpockets to get a job.
- Comply with ingredient #10, Secure Your Tether! Make sure the tether is short enough that even if you absentmindedly shove your bag to your side, it won’t go past the safe zone.
- Do not place your bag on your hip while walking, standing, looking, or taking part in any other activity where people are around.
- Do not place valuables in your backpack (unless in a pocket that is against your back) … filches routinely walk beside or behind backpack wearers, remove goodies, and wander off without being detected.
- Do not place valuables in your back pocket.
- Do not place valuables in your front pocket if it can be accessed from behind. Using Ingredient #2 as an example, this is dangerous, and more so because people feel it is secure.
Next time you travel, remember to mix up a batch of Skooblevart's pickpocket repellent, slather it on thick, and enjoy! All the ingredients can be found at our blog under category “pickpocket repellent.”