They were targeting the three Italian tourists who were standing to my right checking, phone, their phone and their tablet. The tourist looked like they’d missed their connection or their pick up hadn’t picked up. They were sitting ducks with their expensive electronics clearly on display. I wondered how this would go down. A walk past and snatch the items, gone before the Italians had even realised it? Or maybe wait until the devices were stowed away and then a more subtle distraction pickpocket routine. My gaze moved from each of them in turn. I was making sure I wasn’t their target and wondering how I could foil the attack. Who am I kidding? I'm not hero material, and I’m certainly not agile enough to give chase to professional criminals.
Their winks and nods continued; they were biding their time, patience was their virtue. They'd taken me in now and knew that I'd clocked them, but that didn't seem to perturb them. The stalker kept stalking, the chewer kept chewing and the woman kept playing with her tatty leggings. Meanwhile, the Italians kept sitting like ducks. It was only a matter of time before the deed was done.
Their efficiency was impressive; as one, they sprang into action in a way that they didn't look capable of. The youngest Italian was staring at her empty hand, a look of shock on her face. The shell-suited boy had rugby tackled a young lad in black I’d not seen before. He pinned him to the ground his knee was in his back. Leggings woman was cuffing the lad’s hands, while the chewing man had picked up the phone that had sprawled across the concrete floor and was returning it to its grateful, rightful owner. The man with the moustache walked over and winked at me as he passed. He helped shell-suited boy pulled their catch up and lead him away.