Reverse pickpocketing: meet the college kids putting money into strangers’ wallets

Eric Pfeiffer

Everyone knows about pickpocketing – the act of stealing something from a stranger without the victim knowing the crime is taking place.

But Utah Valley University student Stuart Edge is trying to start a new trend, “reverse pickpocketing,” that leaves unwitting recipients with a little extra cash in their wallet.

On Friday, Edge posted a video to his YouTube page in which he interviewed fellow students in Orem and Provo, Utah. Edge pretended to interview the students on camera, while his cohorts would secretly grab their wallets. But instead of taking money out of their wallets, Edge and his team were putting money back in.

“It’s called reverse pickpocketing. It’s this new, cool thing that’s going around,” Edge explained to one student after she discovered a $100 bill in her purse.

“I think this is a little more than 'cool' " she responded.

Edge told Yahoo News he gave out over $1,000. “It was worth it though!” he said.

Edge has more than a million followers on his YouTube page and has made appearances on shows like “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” to showcase his magic tricks. But it may be this unusual act of giving that ends up getting the most attention of all.

After all, the students he was giving the money to seemed particularly grateful, including one student who said she needed the money to pay her rent that month, and another, who said she would be using the cash as a Christmas gift to her two children.