Children. Trained and organized individuals or gangs of children tasked for robbery and other malicious acts targeting tourists and locally approximate outsiders.
These children criminals are often under the instruction of an adult or organization and work at it professionally like an actual job.
– A seemingly alone and harmless child may lure an adult foreigner to a certain location where they will be mugged / assisted / kidnapped by an awaiting person(s).
– A group of children that look like they’re just friends playing on the street may suddenly ambush an unsuspecting foreigner, overwhelming them with numbers.
These incidents are typicall for profit so it’s usually just a loss of property but physical violence as means to that end is not uncommon. Then there’s the rare but still notable chance of these criminal children causing harm for the sake of it.
The worst kind of danger is when you can’t do much to stop it while it’s happening. This is why these types of criminals are potentially the most dangerous to foreigners and outsiders within a localized area.
This type of criminology isn’t rare but is fairly confined to certain parts of South America, Eastern Europe and the inner cities of China and Russia. However, in places that this is a problem, reporting the incident to the local authorities will often yield no result.
These “children” are typically by definition, children, still years from being of legal age and usually not even in their teens. This complicates physically defending oneself in an incident. Even in a life-or-death self-defense situation, physically harming a local child, especially as a foreigner in a poor or developing country could be morally and legally disastrous.
The last reason why these types of criminals are so dangerous is that even to the most highly trained and keen eyed, you’ll never see them coming.
So if you can’t see it coming and you can’t defend yourself, there’s only one solution, run.
[Photography was taken at a Favela in Brazil.]