‘Attenzione Pickpocket’: A lady warns tourists of theft.
“Pickpocket attention!” or “Attenzione borseggiatrici!”. If you’ve come across one of these two statements on social media over the past few days, know that you’re not alone. These two Italian expressions have recently spread on the Internet and have an unusual origin.
Both phrases became known due to posts on TikTok, in which a woman warns tourists of robberies in Venice, shouting out the phrases. Idioms, in Portuguese, mean “Attention, pickpockets!”.
The videos are posted by the “Cittadini Non Distratti” (Non Distracted Citizens, in Portuguese) account on TikTok, which has more than 350,000 followers. The videos have exceeded 10 million views.
Cittadini Non Distratti first appeared on Facebook in 2019. In the description, the page identifies itself as a group of volunteers trying to prevent theft and recover stolen wallets.
On social media, the group shares photos from the alleged robbers. But videos of an Italian woman screaming, and people running through the streets of Venice, caught the eye. Posts have gone viral in recent months.
Despite the success and influx of memes that phrase “Pickpocket attention!” The woman caught screaming in the videos provoked a flyer who urged caution in using her voice.
“I find it inappropriate to use my audio for political purposes or for people pretending to be pickpockets. I shout out to warn citizens and tourists not to circulate people who are part of a criminal organization,” he wrote.
After the fallout from the videos, netizens started using voice or expression to mock situations. Check out some of the memes created by the phrase on social media below.