I reach for my wallet. Hmm… can’t feel it. Open my handbag, rummage around. Start to panic. It was there 15 minutes ago when I entered the supermarket. Red leather wallet. I dropped my keys on top of it. Now, in front of the cashier with $47.67 of bagged groceries in my cart, my wallet is gone. Fear. Embarrassment. Confusion. Profuse sweating. “I lost my wallet,” I mumble to the cashier. I see she’s embarrassed for me. We avoid each other’s eyes. I pick up the bags one by one and place them back on the counter.
As confusion gives way, fear grows. I’ve been pickpocketed. But how? When? I didn’t feel a bump or a touch. No one distracted me. My handbag never left my shoulder. Surveillance cameras show nothing conclusive. Several times, as I meander up and down the aisles, a camera’s view of my bag is blocked by different shoppers. Anyone of them could have lifted my wallet. I’m on the verge of crying. The store manager tries to console me, “A good pickpocket now days even knows how to hide from the cameras. We just catch the amateurs.” I guess if a good pickpocket can out wit surveilance cameras, I shouldn’t feel bad, just unlucky. I was hit by a smooth operator.