I have to tell you my adventure. I was on a crowded bus in the 90 degree heat of rome. You may not know what a crowded bus is. It's one where you are actually physically pressed up against several people and can't move in any direction. There were also two big bags on the floor so i couldn't move my feet apart to give me balance and was holding on for dear life to the pole. I had my backpack in my other hand near the floor (knowing the risk of pickpockets here) so if someone tried to reach for it i would feel them bend over, and anyway, nobody would be able to find the space to bend down.
A guy was holding on to the same bar as me, but standing behind me. That was suspicious already. I kept my eye on my bag. He bumped me on all sides, moved position, bumped again. I was sure he was looking for someone who he could steal from, but I was secure that my bag with the money in it was down near the floor and my hand was firmly on the handle.
Then he jumped out just before the doors closed - a guy told me, "hey, i think he got something from your pocket." I hadn;t thought my cheapo phone was going to be anyone's target but in fact it was gone. So i yelled to hold the door, and i leapt over the two bags and through a clot of people at the door. I had all my numbers in it, it wasn;t backed up, i had to have it back.
I ran like an arrow through the square - he had a head start and i'm not young. I stopped him and yelled to give me my phone. He said he had no phone. I said you have my phone - give it to me.! (I realized then that the bumping was the way pickpockets get at your pocket, so you won;t notice it when they do lift something out so i was sure it was him). He pulled out his own crappy phone. "I have this phone" I said that's not my phone and started putting my hands in his pockets. I pulled out my phone. "THIS is my phone!" I held it in front of him. Then i said ":thanks" and ran back to the bus stop. He was there with his two friends with their mouths open. Two older women (like me) cheered me when i got back.
One asked me why i didn;t get him arrested. I said he was just a poor desperate guy stealing a really cheap phone, he won;t try that again. If anyone should be arrested it should be the bankers, who stole from millions of people and got off with big bonuses, and government handouts. She had to agree.