By: Modou Touray
Commuters around Brusubi Turntable junction have raised concerns over what they called “frequently alarming incidents of pickpocketing at night.”
Pickpocketing involves the stealing of money or other valuables from people’s pockets, bags, purses, etc without them noticing.
To delve into the act and victims’ experience, The Fatu Network engaged commuters who ply the junction and its environs at night.
Biram Fye usually closes late and uses the Brusubi Turntable route to go home.
“I work at Senegambia but normally close late at night. I exchange shift with my colleagues. I remember a particular day when people were struggling to get vehicle. As soon as I entered the vehicle, I realized that my wallet had been stolen,” he narrated.
Brusubi turntable is a busy area where commuters heading to different destinations converge.
Lamin Sima works as a cook at a local hotel. He confirmed being victimized by pickpockets.
“They took my phone, but I only noticed it after getting home. I tried calling the phone, but it was switched off. My phone was costly, and it took me a while to buy another one,” Lamin Sima said.
Ndey Fofana is a businesswoman who also shared her experience with a pick pocketer after she had cashed out money from the ATM machine, put the money in in her bag and was heading to board a taxi to Senegambia.
“The man who was sitting next to me took my wallet from my handbag. It was dark and I was also talking to someone on the phone. He took the chance because I wasn’t concentrating.”
Also, pickpockets sometimes stand around ATMs or cash registers and watch where people put their money.
They are also common in car parks and markets, especially when people are scrambling for vehicles.
Pickpockets are drawn to people who look lost, confused or distracted. People who seem not sure of themselves and aware of their surroundings are mostly attractive targets. Remember, most pickpockets are cautious thieves who want to avoid confrontation
“For the first time in my life, I saw a well-dressed man in nice suit trying to open my handbag, when I realized it, I looked at him and he dropped off from the vehicle. I could not talk because he looked very gentle and old enough to be my father,” Ramu sohna recalled.
Traveling or walking around at night is risky, especially in dark areas. However, Ebrima Manneh noted that such actions of pickpockets will not stop them from going to work at night, especially those who are on night shift or those who close late.
“The fear of pickpocketing cannot make us stop traveling at night because we go to work and run other errands. The most important thing is to be sensitive to thieves,” he advised.
Bakary Dumbuya suggested that people should avoid travelling alone at night.
Pickpocketing is a criminal act and those caught in the act most often attract angry violent reactions from people.