London pickpockets are giving the money back

Visitors to London may find that if they aren’t careful, they could wind up with some strange fingers in their pockets or purses. And while that’s nothing new, this time it might not be a bad thing. A group of former pick-pockets is working the streets of London this month, but instead of stealing money, they are giving it away to their unsuspecting “victims”.

The “put-pocketing” plan is being funded by a local broadband provider called TalkTalk and carried out by 20 former-pickpockets who want to make up for the wrongdoings of their pasts. Between July 1 and the end of the month, at least £100,000 will be given away, mostly in £5 and £20 increments, as a marketing promotion for the company. The covert deposits are taking place in busy areas like Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Circus and on the Tube. According to the Communications Director of TalkTalk, the areas where the money will be given out were strategically chosen “as we want to give the money to people who actually need it.”

While it would be nice to find an extra £20 note in my pocket at the end of the day, I think I’d stay vigilant. I’m sure there are still a number of unreformed pick-pockets out there who, if they get their hands into your bag, will not be kindly leaving you some cash. And now they have the perfect alibi if they get caught: “Of course I wasn’t stealing your wallet. I was giving you money!”

[via Reuters]

It’s time to slim down your travel wallet

As I type this, I’m dealing with a massive stiff neck. It probably has something to do with the two weeks of traveling I just finished, sleeping on airplanes and tiny uncomfortable hotel pillows. But I also think my stiff neck might have come from that ultra-thick wallet I was sitting on every day of my trip.

So perhaps it was cruel irony that yesterday I stumbled upon the Jimi Wallet, an ultra-slim wallet made from recycled plastic. Billed as a compact alternative to your regular everyday wallet, the “Jimi” is built to accommodate no more than 5 cards and a few bills. While I will admit I’m not thrilled by the dorky colors, and that the company name is awful, I do think that the makers of Jimi Wallet might just be on to something. Think about all those cards you carry in your wallet. How many do you actually use when you’re traveling? I know you’re attached to your library card and that membership in the Audubon Society, but do you really need to bring them with you when you travel to London? That’s where the Jimi Wallet is really a plus. It easily fits in your front pocket while still allowing you to hold on to your essentials. Outdoor enthusiasts will also be pleased to learn its also water resistant, which can be a plus if its raining or you tend to be a big sweaty mess.

Not ready to make the plunge on a bright plastic wallet? Get yourself a slim business card holder – they’re a great way to carry a few cards while you’re on the road. Or give this a try.

Wrist-strap your cash when you travel

As pick-pockets get smarter and quicker, it’s hard to avoid getting robbed when you travel unless your money is stashed in your underwear. It’s especially difficult for women as we always seem to want a purse/bag when we head out and don’t want to wear jeans — mostly just to keep money.

Which is why I was thrilled to find this wristband-wallet combo where you can hide your bills in funky punky bracelet form.

Newly introduced by Amsterdam-based accessories store – RoB – that specializes in leather and rubber products, the wallet is available in all sizes and a variety of colors and stripes.

CAUTION: The store is otherwise totally skewed towards male erotic and S&M products (so don’t freak out when you explore the homepage), but it does have some neat and offbeat items like this one. And, you can order and buy on line, so you don’t have to visit the store!

Tubemap Wallets Are A Wallet AND A Map

When you first see the Tubemap wallet, you’ll nod your head and mutter, “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?” So simple it’s brilliant, a Tubemap wallet is an “ordinary” black leather wallet that folds open to reveal a printed London Underground map inside. Not heading to London? Tubemap also makes wallets for the New York subway.

At £35 ($69), the Tubemap seems a little pricey, but if you’re the kind of person who like traveling light, you’ll gladly pay for dual-purpose gear. With space for loads of cash and 8 cards, this will be one wallet you’ll really cry over if it gets snatched.