Why the pickpockets were the elite of the criminal world in tsarist Russia

Crime 28/12/19 Why the pickpockets were the elite of the criminal world in tsarist Russia,

In the early twentieth century in the Russian Empire there was a sharp intensification of criminal activity. It was connected with the growth of urban population, the destruction of the communal system of the Russian countryside, the revolutionary movements and the General impoverishment of the people. The most “popular” crime, steel theft, which one 1909 recorded 125 thousand. While robbery was at 3, and murder 4 times smaller.

the underworld of pre-revolutionary Russia

In what was then the criminal world weight organized gangs are willing to kill was not great, and they blossom after the revolution. In pre-revolutionary Russia ran the thieves, who were divided into castes by profession. In all the major cities of the Empire there existed a real underground “school” where mothers taught thieves shift, recruited from street smart punks. These students were called “utilizame”.

the Thieves of the lowest category was considered the “tambovskii”, – bearer in the markets of bags and sacks from the peasants, “kaperski”, which ripped hats, “anglers” stealing suitcases from the back of horse-drawn carriages. “Bath attendants” stealing suitcases from passengers of trains and ships. For such thefts were not required skills, therefore, the representatives of these castes was not particularly revered in the criminal underworld. Just above was “pigeon”, salesasia into the apartment through the roof and “glass” through the window.
were criminals who used their craft in more sophisticated ways. “Hacks” robbed the apartment, where there was a dead man for burial. “Pontiki” created a scandal, and gathered around him a crowd of onlookers, and robbed their accomplices.

Theft from store shelves hunted “gorodechnyi”. They stole jewelry, furs and other valuables. In the gendarmerie reference books of the time meant that “gorodechnyi” often disguisedXia in the form of employees of various departments and to divert attention using the children.
Another group was “podkidysh”, which is close to the banks and stations threw passers wallets with money. When the victim picked up the wallet, there is its alleged owner, often accompanied by friends. Together they searched the man and quietly robbed him, and then apologized and disappeared. “Cranberry” in pre-revolutionary jargon called the Church, and those who specialized in robbing her, was nicknamed “klukvennaya”. “Puppeteers” were exchanged fake money, and “lucky”sold glass under the guise of precious stones.

the Highest caste

the Elite of the criminal world was “marvihery” – thieves of the highest class. These thieves always dressed well, had forged documents and stole wallets in banks, theatres, exhibitions and other places, attracting rich people. Pickpockets worked in groups (herbach) and after committing the theft, had vanished. The pickpockets committing theft only in the same city was called “merchants.”

a Common caste was “washers”, which in the jargon of the time “washed” people in trains. The thieves were acquainted with the passengers and slipped them in tea soporific drugs. When the victim fell asleep, they robbed her and went to the next station.
“Hypericum” called the thief, paired with a prostitute. Criminals along with a group of girls “went on tour” to different cities, where renting an apartment, where he opened a brothel. While the client was keen pleasures with prostitutes “chinnici” had crept into the room and searched the clothes of the client. That man immediately noticed the loss, he picked up only part of the money.
As the Soviet “thieves in law” professional criminals of pre-revolutionary Russia tried to start a family, escaped the killings and cooperation with the state. But simply thieves laws have not yet issued.

Alexander Brazhnik

© Russian Seven

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