This is the moment pickpockets preying on tourists in holiday hotspots in Venice are run out of town by TikTok campaigners.
Campaign To Run Pickpockets Out Of Venice pic.twitter.com/lbWNku1XR8— NewsX (@newsx_media) June 29, 2023
Heroic footage recorded by a crime buster known only as 57-year-old Monica shows her confronting the sneak thieves as they move in on holidaymakers.
In one clip she is seen taking on two female pickpockets dressed as tourists as they mingle with crowds apparently targeting women’s backpacks and handbags.
As she steps up behind the girls she calls out loudly in Italian: “Watch out! Pickpockets!”
She can then be heard telling a woman to check her bag in English, with someone then heard saying in Italian: “Thank you, Madam.”
As she shouts after them the two suspects flee down a flight of stone steps and run until they’re out of sight.
A second clip shows two different girls trying to mix with a crowd of holidaymakers on a boat before Monica calls them out.
As they reach the top of the gangplank she calls out at the top of her voice repeatedly: “Attention! Pickpockets.”
When the crooks realise they have been rumbled they try to cover their faces and run off the tourist boat.
A third clip shows how close Monica comes to attack when she tackles three burly-looking male pickpockets as they board a ferry packed with visitors.
As she shouts her warning, the crooks abandon the ship and walk off quickly in different directions.
One – clearly furious at being caught and filmed – spits at her as he walks past.
It has emerged that Monica is part of a group of Venetian residents who have taken to social media to stop street crime in the Italian city.
The group – called ‘Cittadini Non Distratti’, or ‘Citizens Not Distracted’ – has about 40 street monitors.
The videos not only warn tourists of the tricks of street pickpockets but also identify crooks in action for police.
Her videos have been gaining traction on social media with the summer season now in full swing, with netizens calling her “brilliant”.
The videos have reportedly been regularly posted on Facebook but have now reached a younger audience after the group began posting them on TikTok, notching up millions of views.
Pickpockets are known to be rife in Venice, which hosts between 1.4 and 5.5 million tourists every year.