A thief goes over the changes his band of thieves must make on the streets for a profit.
|A Pickpocket's Urban Reforms
Listen up boys. You've all been trained on the nitty gritty of how to pick a pocket, but we've got to look at the big picture now. We're bleeding with bribes every single day, we need to step up our game. We're cutting plenty of purses, the problem is the purses are pack full of a whole lot of nothing. We need to go over the locations we pick to make the London streets profitable again.
As you all know, finding good marks starts with finding a good location. We've got lists of some regular spots, but Scotland Yard has caught on and we've lost a couple boys on the streets. We've really got to find some new spots. The ideal locale has high traffic but low police activity. Problem is, the city council run the police patrols through crowded areas, so finding such areas can be very difficult. In fact, there is practically no such place in all of London. This is why we need to get out there and make the streets profitable ourselves.
There are plenty of places with low police activity, but low traffic. Other places have high traffic, but also very high police activity. We can either increase traffic while keeping the police activity the same in the low traffic regions, or lower police activity in high traffic regions. The latter can not be achieved without carrying out large scale attacks on police targets or exorbitant bribes to the authorities, neither of which we can afford. We're going to have to go with the first choice.
We've got to ask ourselves, why do the police not visit these locations? Well, it's because there are a lot of violent criminals in these areas. Of course, we never sink to such levels, but we need to deal with less sophisticated thieves and their antics. Now, the violent crimes are also the main reason the rich folk don't show up either. So how do we make the police think these streets are violent, while making the rich feel welcome? I think I know what it would take to do so. Every once in a while, a stray noble waltzes into one of these streets. They usually do it when the street is a shortcut to a popular location or if they're lost tourists. Either way, we've all seen the perfect mark in these god forsaken streets at least once. As tempting as it is to rob this target, we must show some restraint. These strays are often socialites, if we make them think these streets are safe, we can get the word out.
I've done a couple test runs of the following procedure, I think it's a feasible way to trick these strays. First, pull the old Percussive Pickpocket on them. We've got some detailed documents in the archives if you want to go over how to do it in detail, but here are the basics for now. The Percussive Pickpocket is when you bump into the target and nick a valuable off them in the split second they're distracted. Handkerchiefs are easy to steal, but a trained professional can reach inside a coat's pocket and grab a nice watch. Normally, you make a quick exit after the Percussive Pickpocket, but remember, we're showing restraint this time around. Once you've got the item, strike up a conversation with the stray. After you've established a rapport, reveal that you had nicked something off them. Comfort them by giving the item back, but offer to escort them through the street. As you walk alongside the stray, tell them a bit about the neighbourhood. Tell them that the streets are mostly safe save for a small pickpocket problem. As long as you wear your colours, violent criminals won't dare to openly assault you or your mark, so you should make it through the street just fine. Bid them farewell, and walk away without stealing anything. In the short term, this is not profitable, but as more and more strays are escorted through these rough neighbourhoods, the more they talk about their exciting exchange in the street, the more socialites visit the street and that's when we start seeing some gullable rich folk carelessly walking through our streets. With traffic comes police. Seeing the street become a highway, the council will dispatch police to deal with highwaymen. However, nobody will be there to escort the boys in blue, so the violent savages will have no problems with harassing the police. Soon the police will be under the misconception that the street is unsafe for the authorities, while we make sure civilians feel welcome with out clever escorting.
That is a lengthy process. It can take months or even years to change a street like that. If we bide our time however, we will have locations with high traffic but low police activity. I want you guys to go out there and scout some fertile locations, the sooner we start this change the better. Rome wasn't built in a day, after all. Let's start laying the groundwork!