Long-time Turkish thief reveals secrets of his ‘profession’

Long-time Turkish thief reveals secrets of his ‘profession’

Long-time Turkish thief reveals secrets of his ‘profession’ An experienced Turkish thief has revealed the details of his “profession” in an interview with a Turkish daily, saying he was a robber for 10 years and there were many thieves with “specialties” who provided for their families. 

“I’ve robbed up to 5,000 times in 10 years. But I quit 10 years ago,” said the thief, whose identity was kept secret, while speaking to Turkish daily Evrensel on May 8. He added thievery becomes a habit as it is an easy way to earn money.

“It starts with stealing birds. Then it gets wider. You move on from birds to stores, supermarkets, banks, jewelry stores… The business gets wider as you grow. But there are three ways to end it: Either you die, end up in jail or sequester yourself,” the thief said.

The thief added he had also been a victim, as his house had been robbed in an incident he said “tore my heart out.”

 “Our rent money and our TV were stolen. It really tore my heart out. The fear of God came to me. So I quit [robbing],” he said, adding he wouldn’t take a piece of fruit from a tree now without permission.

During his interview, the thief stressed that thievery can be described as a “profession,” as every thief has an area of “expertise” and there were ones who provided for their families. 

“For instance, there are ones who leave their houses at 9 a.m. with their cars and return at 7 p.m. They only lack insurance. The families don’t know about this, they act like they are going to work,” the thief said, adding that the families sometimes learn about their provider’s “profession” when the thief goes to jail. 

“Everyone has an area of expertise. There are ones who rob houses and stores. Some of them only steal cassette-players. Some of them only steal coins from minibuses,” he said, adding that he was a store-robber. 

“It’s important that the store is in a secluded place, the rest is not important. It wouldn’t take five minutes to enter the store even if there are hundreds of locks,” he also said. 

Saying that the “working hours” differed according to the “specialty,” the thief said pickpockets start stealing in the morning while people are going to work and in the evening when they are leaving work.

“The nighttime robbers steal cars, rob houses and stores. They leave their houses at 2 a.m. and return at 5 a.m.,” the thief said. 

Stressing that there were rules in the “profession,” the thief said it was not right to enter a poor person’s house.

“You can’t steal from where you live. Most of the robbers don’t conform to this, but it’s a rule. There were robbers who didn’t enter the houses in slums. They would enter the houses with security and alarm systems, for they thought that the people living there could be rich,” he said, adding that thieves don’t report each other to the police.