Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Dying Art Of Lush Workers

I always enjoy reading about unusual crimes and unusual criminals. There was a piece last week over at the New York Times that looked at the dying art of "lush workers". Lush Workers are a special type of pickpocket thieves that use a razor blade to literally cut the pockets open of their drunken victims.
“It’s like a lost art,” the lieutenant said. “It’s all old-school guys who cut the pocket. They die off.” And they do not seem to be replacing themselves, he said. “It’s like the TV repairman.” 
Lush workers date back at least to the beginning of the last century, their ilk cited in newspaper crime stories like one in The New York Times in 1922, describing “one who picks the pockets of the intoxicated. He is the old ‘drunk roller’ under a new name.” While the term technically applies to anyone who steals from a drunken person, most police officers reserve it for a special kind of thief who uses straight-edge razors found in any hardware store.
Given the dearth of subways in the sleepy little burg where I work, we don't see many lush workers or even pickpockets for that matter. That's probably a good thing too.

I also want to give a tip of the hat to security expert Bruce Schneier for the heads up on the NY Times story.

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