Security Video Shows Thief Apparently Hypnotizing Shopkeeper Before Picking His Pockets

hypnotistthiefThe next time I find myself suddenly without any cash, I’m now going to be convinced that it was a hypnotizing thief lightening my load. Because yes, that can apparently happen: Police in London believe a shopkeeper might’ve been put in a trance by a guy caught on CCTV who then picked his pockets.

Yes, this is a thing people are believing, after a wine merchant found himself “stunned” by the theft of hundreds of pounds in cash, reports the London Evening Standard.

In the video, a man brushes past the shopkeeper and taps him on the arm. He then goes through a series of motions and gestures, ostensibly to put him into the hypnotic state. The shop owner does appear dazed and stands very still in the video, while the thief reaches inside his pocket and pulls out his wallet before walking out.

The shopkeeper then appears to snap out of whatever waking snooze he was having, and runs out after him.

Scotland Yard released the shop’s CCTV footage this week, showing the bizarre Sept. 11 incident in a search for the suspect.

“The victim remained motionless and unable to stop the robbery taking place. He said that he was momentarily unaware of what had happened to him,” a detective sergeant said.

“The suspect’s distraction tactics appeared to have worked as he robbed the victim of cash from his pocket.“

A BBC magician weighed in, saying the man might’ve previously been hypnotized by the suspect in order to implant “trigger” words into his subconscious, making it easier on this subsequent trip to get him into a trance.

“You can never hypnotize someone on the first go, you warm them up,” he explained to the paper. “I would have thought he has already gone in there before and done some pre-suggestive stuff.”

Maybe this means that the hypnotist I allowed to fake hypnotize me onstage at a tourist resort in Mexico wasn’t actually a total sham and is now going to reappear and rob me. That’s what this story has taught me. Never get hypnotized on vacation and later brag that it didn’t work (it didn’t) because it might just be an elaborate set-up.

Shopkeeper ‘placed in trance by hypnotist’ during theft in north London [London Evening Standard]

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