Attenzione Pickpocket memes go viral thanks to TikTok trend

13 July 2023, 17:52

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Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith


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If you've opened the TikTok app within the past two weeks or so, then you've probably immediately been shown a video of a woman walking around Venice shouting "ATTENZIONE! PICKPOCKET!" at the top of her lungs. But what's going on? Who is she? And why are people so obsessed with her?

It all began when the TikTok account @cittadininondistratti2 started posting videos of pickpockets being called out in Venice, Italy. The person behind the camera locates the pickpockets and approaches them in busy, tourist-filled places before shouting warnings to draw attention to them and scare them away.

The account has almost 350,000 followers and the people behind it have now become TikTok icons, with one video reaching over 55 million views.

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Attenzione Pickpocket memes go viral thanks to hilarious TikTok trend
Attenzione Pickpocket memes go viral thanks to hilarious TikTok trend. Picture: via Twitter

What does Borseggiatrici mean in Italian?

Alongside the now-iconic "Attenzione! Pickpockets!" catchphrase, the word "Borseggiatrici" is also shouted as part of the warning to tourists. For the non-Italian speakers, Borseggiatrici is a variation on the Italian word 'borseggiatore' which translates to pickpocket in English.

Who is the woman behind the "Attenzione Pickpocket!" meme?

The TikTok videos are recorded and posted by 57-year-old Monica who has been working against pickpockets for almost 30 years. Speaking to Newsweek, Monica said: "We decided to make our videos go viral to inform tourists to be careful. There is a lack of prevention and information about what is happening in the city and we are all happy that these videos are letting people see the problem in Venice and throughout Italian cities."

Monica's plan worked, the videos have now all gone massively viral on the social media platform and now memes are starting to take over the internet.

From people using the "Attenzione Pickpocket!" sound over their own videos of cats stealing food or Ticketmaster adding additional fees onto their tickets, to people who just cannot get the phrase out of their minds, here's all the funniest memes so far.

ATTENZIONE – and I cannot stress this enough – PICKPOCKET!!!!!

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