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Don't talk to people when they act nice

The crime rate has gone down in New York -- except if you are the person the crime is committed against.

I was in an upscale store the other day examining a camcorder.I handed the man behind the counter my credit card from my wallet. While I was waiting for him to write it up a very attractive lady in a Gucci blouse came up to me and said she liked the sports coat I was wearing. I told her she had a lovely blouse.

After exchanging compliments with me, she disappeared. Only moments later I realized my wallet was gone.

This lovely lady, who could have been president of her garden club or chairwoman of the junior league, was a pickpocket preying on men in sports jackets. We who live on the edge of the computer age are not used to being duped by ex-debutantes.

When I told my story to friends they revealed to me that a ring of well-dressed women was working the better stores in New York.

When one is robbed, one has a fantasy concerning it. Mine is that I catch the thief in the act, and instead of calling the police, I take her for a cup of coffee. There she tells me her story. Once married to a wealthy investment banker, he left her for the vice president of his company. She moved to Yonkers, but she couldn't afford Yonkers, so she wound up in this type of work. I take her to St. Patrick's Cathedral and turn her in to Cardinal Cooke.

What is the moral of this story? Crime is still rampant in New York City. Women dressed to kill are now roaming the city's stores. I vow I will never talk to an upscale lady in an upscale store in New York again.

Los Angeles Times Syndicate