When I first moved to Manhattan, I was advised to keep a firm grip on my purse while walking along the streets or boarding a packed bus or subway car to avoid losing it to a pickpocket. One evening on a crowded bus, I noticed a shabbily dressed, unshaven man elbowing his way onboard. "Aha!" I thought. "A pickpocket!" So I clutched my handbag tighter. However, when a woman got off the bus and left her purse behind, my "pickpocket" rushed to retrieve the bag and waved it out an open window, shouting, "Hey, lady, you forgot your purse!"
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