All this talk of pickpockets and such came flooding back to me when I talked with my parents the other day. They are in Europe now, and spent a few days in Paris. While there, they were the targets of LOTS of pickpocket attempts...but get this:
While in the Louvre, some punk tried to get something out of my mother's purse. My (awesome) brother-in-law, a police officer here in the US, saw what was happening and collared the guy, then ARRESTED him!!
He dragged the guy, kicking and screaming, down a flight of stairs to a guard station, where he held on to the creep until the gendarmes arrived. The guy tried to yell that my brother-in-law was the one accosting HIM (not true) and my brother-in-law, who speaks no French, pulled out his ID and started flashing it around to keep people from helping the crook.
All in all, it was good guys 1, bad guys 0...and of course we're planning to tease my brother-in-law to no end. We decided it was like one of those 1970s cop shows where the star wanted a vacation in Paris and had the writers concoct some nonsense about his character being in France on vacation and busting some crime ring.
And of course the French police insisted the guy wasn't French (apparently they say that the pickpockets are all Gypsies or Bosnians)...and there's no doubt the guy was back on the street within hours...but still, it must have felt good to actually be able to DO something about it (and in a safe and crowded place like the Louvre). Apparently these crooks pay the entrance fee, and make it up with their haul from picking pockets and purses. Ick!