The Nation: Crime and Punishment...

With fingers lighter than a Luna moth's wings, Timothy Mack has spent 13 years spiriting wallets from the pockets and purses of Los Angelenos, an artful dodger's career that has been interrupted by 20 arrests and two jail terms.

In a way, Mack's latest sentence is the law's ingenious tribute to his skill. When Mack was brought before Los Angeles Superior Court on charges of picking $15.11 from a woman's purse, Judge Richard Hayden improvised a sentence worthy of Dante's Purgatory. In addition to serving 20 weekends in jail Mack was condemned, for the next two years, to wear mittens any time...

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