attenzione pickpocket

Viral 'attenzione pickpocket' trend has landed in Toronto

The Italian phrase "attenzione pickpocket" has become an international viral sensation over the past year, with the chant being remixed on apps like TikTok thousands of times. 

The trend recently landed in Toronto, where one couple walking along Yonge-Dundas Square was shunned for allegedly pickpocketing pedestrians in the area. 

If you're unfamiliar with the viral line, it was first popularized by Monica Poli and her group Cittadini Non Distratti (undistracted citizens), who filmed themselves yelling at people whom they believed to be pickpocketing tourists around the Italian city of Venice. 

In the videos, Poli's recognizable voice can be heard yelling "Attenzione borseggiatrici, attenzione pickpocket, which translates to "Attention pickpockets, attention pickpockets," in English. 

In a video posted by, a remix of Poli's voice is heard as a Toronto couple is shown allegedly pickpocketing pedestrians on multiple occasions. 

"I saw many attempts, but this was the only one I caught on camera," the original poster wrote, explaining that she hesitated to confront the couple since she was with her child. 

The clip ignited discussions about the rise of pickpocketing in Toronto, and how pedestrians can better protect themselves from falling victim to the common crime. 

"I'm a local and I STILL got my phone pickpocketed off of me, on Queen Street no less," one person wrote in response to the video. 

"I'm so mad at myself, I'm usually hyper vigilant and it only took a moment between sending a text, putting it in my pocket, crossing the street, and then going to take it back out to realize it was gone." 

Another person wrote that they had their phone stolen at the exact time and place just a few months ago. 

"My iPhone Pro Max got pickpocketed here at Yonge and Dundas too. I was just checking the time after walked out of Eaton's and I wanted to check the time again after passed Yonge and Elm, my phone was gone," one user said. 

"I've lived in downtown all my life. And recently I've had a 'feeling' about pick pocketers so I usually leave my phone in my front pants pocket, or in my actual pockets with my hands inside grabbing my phone," another comment reads.  

"I don't trust anyone. Especially downtown." 

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