The police have received dozens of reports of pickpocketing in the Helsinki city centre since the beginning of this year

Publication date 22.2.2024 11.06 | Published in English on 4.3.2024 at 10.55
News item

Approximately 50 pickpocketing incidents have been reported to the Helsinki Police Department within the last month. The incidents have taken place in the Kluuvi area in the city centre and are being investigated as thefts.

The offences have been mainly committed around the Central Railway Station, Aleksanterinkatu, the Senate Square, Katajanokka and Pohjois-Esplanadi.

Last week, the Helsinki police apprehended four individuals suspected of thefts. Two suspects were apprehended on Monday, and two on Wednesday.

All the apprehended individuals are foreigners who have come to Finland from Eastern Europe. The suspects will be deported from Finland under the Aliens Act as they are considered to pose a threat to public order and safety.

“The special thanks for Wednesday’s apprehension go to a guard at the Stockmann department store, who closely monitored the activities of the individuals suspected of the crime,” says Head of Investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Jari Korkalainen.

Pickpockets operate swiftly and discreetly – people are advised to remain vigilant in the city

The investigation has revealed that the activities of pickpockets are highly professional. For example, stolen foreign currencies are immediately exchanged for another currency or sent abroad. The suspects commit crimes in groups, and stolen property quickly changes hands.

“Most of the incidents have targeted individuals who were tourists in Finland. The modus operandi involves disturbing a person walking on the street by jostling, for example, while another person simultaneously snatches the wallet from the victim’s backpack,” explains Head of Investigation Korkalainen.

The pickpockets have stolen cash totalling thousands of euros. Victims have also lost passports and valuable brand wallets.

“We remind everyone that it’s advisable to be vigilant when moving around the city centre and to immediately call emergency services if suspicious activity is observed. Thefts should always be reported. The sooner the police receive information about a suspected crime, the more likely they are to trace the perpetrators and intervene in criminal activities,” says Head of Investigation Korkalainen.

The video linked below demonstrates the rapid and professional actions of the suspected criminals in broad daylight. In the video, the suspects approach the victims closely, with one trying to divert the attention of the victims while the other steals the wallet from the backpack.

How to prevent pickpocketing?

  • Pay attention to where you carry your wallet or bag.

  • Keep your wallet in a pocket that is difficult to access.

  • Avoid storing valuables in trouser back pockets and outer pockets of backpacks, where items can be easily taken.

  • Place your wallet in a secure location in your bag after making purchases, instead of leaving it on top of other items.

Helsinki Helsinki Police Department News Offences and criminal investigation