I’ve heard stories pickpocketers (and purse stealers) in small town America being so kind as to only take your cash and mail back your drivers license, wallet and credit cards. It’s happened to some of my family members and friends, in fact. And I’ve even heard of people getting their wallets returned to their home doorsteps in the middle of the night. Apparently the thief knew he wasn’t going to take any chances with identity theft and decided, instead of tossing out someone’s personal items and causing the person a great deal of trouble, to return his items and relieve his conscience a bit. That’s rather moving, even if he did commit a crime initially.
Well, guess what. This happens in Spain, too. In big city Madrid no less. It’s happened to two of my friends so far and I imagine it happens often throughout Europe in general. Let’s call it “noble thievery”. If I were poor, unemployed and hungry, and had to turn to stealing somebody’s cash, I would do the same. So I imagine that a lot of pickpocketers are not stealing from the evil of their heart, but because they have to.
Then again, I met a girl who got robbed $900 in the subway and I’m sure she wouldn’t care so much if she got her driver’s license back at that point. What was she thinking going around with $900 in her pocket on the Madrid subway? Well, she wasn’t thinking at all.