Beware of Pickpockets! My ZT 0566BW Elmax Was Stolen Right Out of My Front Pocket Today

Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
111
I carry my folder clipped inside my front pocket like I’m sure many here do, but it never crossed my mind that it could be stolen so easily by a pickpocket. I figured the clip would retain it enough to make it difficult to take without noticing, but it’s actually pretty easy to snatch.

I did some testing when I got home and found the pick pocket’s technique can be used to very easily and very quickly lift a knife out without tugging enough on the pants to really notice, and without even putting your fingers inside the pocket. I tested with a very tight pocket clip, and the technique works. I don’t want to share it here, but trust me, it can be done in 2 seconds by pretty much anyone.

The incident:
Today a team of two pick-pockets (edit: I don’t think they were pros, just some teenagers) in Salt Lake City, Utah stole my well-loved, well-worn ZT 0566BW Elmax right out of my pocket. The pair of thieves was gone in seconds, longer than it took me to process what happened. I’ve carried this knife daily for years, and it shows. I’d easily recognize it by the scratches/wear. It’s my favorite folder too 🙁. I feel like the Elmax version is not terribly common on the secondary market anymore, so if one pops up for sale let me know—I’ll know pretty quickly based on the pictures. It has love marks ☺️. I have pictures on my hard drive from when it was new, I’ll try to find them to see if the serial number is in them.

Thanks everyone and be careful! It’s easier to have your knife lifted out of your pocket than you likely realize.
 
Last edited:

PMQ

Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
111
Professional pockerpickers can steal people's watch from their own wrists without them knowing, so I don't think a pocket clip is much of a problem, or any hindrance to them.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
111
Professional pockerpickers can steal people's watch from their own wrists without them knowing, so I don't think a pocket clip is much of a problem, or any hindrance to them.
I don’t think they were pros, and to be honest, I could now steal a pocket knife in about 2 seconds flat unnoticed. I’m pretty sure they were just dirtbags. Utah doesn’t have many pickpockets, but there’s plenty of teenagers and 20-somethings who live the dirtbag lifestyle and ski/climb all year. We have some crackheads, but really crime is pretty minimal out here. I actually dated a federal agent (not as cool as it sounds) who said it’s one of the most boring places an agent could be assigned.

I’m hoping the biggest takeaway here will be how easy it is…pocket clips stop gravity from stealing your knife, but not a person. It really is that easy.
 
Last edited:

CWL

Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
10,231
I've read that during the Vietnam War, soldiers on leave would get their Parker pens stolen right out of their breast pockets. They'd take a card, slip it under the clip and lift it right out of the pocket without the GI ever noticing. Something like that would probably work for a knife as well.
 

gazz98

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
4,618
Sorry to heat that Clouds.

Could we have some more details? Did someone "pretend" bump into you for example or did someone knock you down and while people helped you up they took it?

I have my CPL and carry whenever I can (not at work). Due to that and living around Detroit and hearing all the wonderful events that happen in and around Detroit, I tend to be suspicious of everyone and everything. Plus, I just hit 50 and officially a grumpy old man.

Most of the stories I have heard of pickpocketing are in subways or crowded buses when you are crammed into one another.
 

Sendit6.5

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2021
Messages
38
Sorry to hear about your knife! Being robbed feels incredibly violating and I can’t imagine it when you’re pickpocketed. Geez. Hope you report it and get them caught when they try to pawn it!

That said, I think that terming climbers and ski bums as dirtbags is crossing a line. There are LOTS of full time climbers and so-called ski bums (mostly younger folks) that are perfectly honest. Most of our Olympic athletes in those sports have lived, or continue to live, that vagabond lifestyle. The kids that stole from you are “dirtbags” without ANY doubt! However, there’s no need to lump the skiing and climbing community into the description, imo. I was once one of those kids and I NEVER stole anything from anyone and neither did any of the other full-time climbers and skiers I met and associated with in the late 89’s and early 90’s. It’s personal and I can’t help but get a little defensive. Lol. Honestly, I met more dirtbags and miscreants in college and in the business world than I did mountaineering and skiing and living out of vans and school busses!

Anyway, I hope you get that great knife back or find a replacement. 🙏🙏
 

Sendit6.5

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2021
Messages
38
Maybe Cold Steel is on the right track with their pocket clips after all! If the owner can't pull it out of their pocket without self-inducing a wedgie, a pickpocket is going to have a harder time.

True. On the other hand, I’ve always worried about having difficulty in accessing or deploying a knife in a high-stress emergency situation, particularly with one hand. As cruddy as this experience was, I’m less inclined to want a extremely grabby pocket clip than to simply become more aware of pickpockets. Sometimes these situations are unavoidable and are simply an unfortunate part of living life. A worse scenario would be NOT being able to deploy a knife to save a life, including your own. For example, you’re in a bad car wreck and are wounded and partially disoriented.. I want an easily deployable knife I can use with one hand (even on a cross-draw) to cut a seatbelt. Just playing the practical devils advocate here.

FWIW I don’t think pickpocketing is a major problem in most of the US. Mostly found in some cities in certain areas; and, of course, overseas. In those areas it’s best to keep valuables in front pockets and keep your hands in/near your pockets in crowds - this will deter pickpockets.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
2,370
That sucks man. But at the end of the day, at least you’re unhurt. We’re glad you’re okay.

Yeah, short of somehow tethering the knife to one’s person or just throwing it in the backpack, I don’t think there’s a 100% defense against pickpockets. Sucks as I usually just pocket carry my Izula or folders.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2000
Messages
2,118
True. On the other hand, I’ve always worried about having difficulty in accessing or deploying a knife in a high-stress emergency situation, particularly with one hand. As cruddy as this experience was, I’m less inclined to want a extremely grabby pocket clip than to simply become more aware of pickpockets. Sometimes these situations are unavoidable and are simply an unfortunate part of living life. A worse scenario would be NOT being able to deploy a knife to save a life, including your own. For example, you’re in a bad car wreck and are wounded and partially disoriented.. I want an easily deployable knife I can use with one hand (even on a cross-draw) to cut a seatbelt. Just playing the practical devils advocate here.

FWIW I don’t think pickpocketing is a major problem in most of the US. Mostly found in some cities in certain areas; and, of course, overseas. In those areas it’s best to keep valuables in front pockets and keep your hands in/near your pockets in crowds - this will deter pickpockets.

Sorry for you loss ... thieves suck. [oops! Thought I was replying to the OP!]

How about switching to inside the waistband carry? Harder or impossible for anyone to see it and much harder for someone other than you to access without you knowing it.
 
Last edited:

K.O.D.

Chief Navigator, Lemming division
Platinum Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
9,923
Well, there is one excuse to buy a new knife. Seriously, sorry that happened.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
4,486
Is it possible you just lost it? At what point did you notice it was gone?

I could understand pickpockets going after a wallet or a phone, but a pocketknife seems an odd target, especially when you consider how many people carry cheap folders clipped to their pocket.

Any time a pickpocket makes their move they risk getting the crap beat out of them, or in the case of someone carrying a knife, the risk of being stabbed, not to mention being arrested. Going after a pocketknife would be a serious gamble. Unless it was clearly a high-end knife. But how easy is it to tell from just the pocket clip and whatever portion of the knife might be visible?

Of course I wouldn't put it past some criminals, or some teenagers, to take such risks. People do dumb things all the time.

Did you file a police report?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
5,259
Very interesting. Never considered that. This will make me think twice about carrying any clippable item.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
1,761
Never thought it would be that easy, but I guess I can see it. I may start going IWB to avoid this, but I live where there isn't much crime. Might try just to see how it feels. I'd be pretty upset if I lost certain knives that are almost irreplaceable, which is why they don't get carried much, but even ones that are common would hurt if they were taken.

Speaking of 0566's...i have one I haven't carried in a long, long time. 0566cf in s35vn. I'd let it go for pretty cheap if you'd want it.
 

on_the_edge

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
11,077
I have been a victim of theft more than once in my life. I know how personal that feels. I also accidentally caught a child about 5 years old with his hand in my front pocket when visiting Mexico several years back. No loss occurred, but then I knew not to have anything in my pockets anyway.

The best we can do is use common sense, try to be situationally aware, and keep our fingers crossed. Indeed, if we ever come across a true professional pickpocket who wants something we have on our person, I'm afraid there's not much we can do to stop it short of not having the item on us to begin with.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
111
I've read that during the Vietnam War, soldiers on leave would get their Parker pens stolen right out of their breast pockets. They'd take a card, slip it under the clip and lift it right out of the pocket without the GI ever noticing. Something like that would probably work for a knife as well.
You’re on the right track. There’s a few things you could slip under a clip, a card is definitely one of them. A key ring works too, unfortunately ☹️
 

skyhorse

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
12,661
C CloudsRest Curious as to what environment you were in at the time of this incident ? I’m not surprised being as some scumbags can lift a mans under drawers and go unnoticed . When a stranger comes within arms length that light comes on .
 
Top