Had problems with gypsy pickpockets in Nice and Rome also. Found in a lot
of cases it was the children who were given the job to do. There were 3 of
us trying to cross the busy promenade in Nice and this teenage girl started
walking in front of us, pushing a new newspaper into one of my travel
buddies stomachs, whilst unzipping her money belt and taking her money
underneath the cover of the newspaper. Luckily we didn't carry more than a
couple of dollars around, so she would have gone away very disappointed.
My friend had a money belt that sat out of her jeans, whereas we had the
ones that go under and are covered over and we didn't have a problem. I
guess it's the same with carrying a bag - we always carried our little
packs on our fronts instead of our backs or over one arm. Have heard of
people having their bags ripped off their shoulders by pickpockets either
running past or on bikes/motorbikes. (that happened to a lady when we were
in Portugal) It's just an awareness thing, and as Elizabeth said, not
really something to obsess over.