85-year-old convicted pickpocket affirms wallet ‘flew onto floor’

“I only picked it up.” Portugal’s oldest convicted pickpocket, Joaquina Gonçalves, 85, is back in trouble weeks after being warned by a judge that the next time she was caught, she really would go to jail. This time, she has been accused of stealing a wallet in Amarante. But the woman dubbed ‘Quina Carteirista’ vows she was sitting down, and the wallet simply “flew onto the ground”.

All she did was pick it up.

“I didn’t see exactly what happened,” she has told reporters, adding that she ‘thinks’ the real culprit was a Romanian man.

“But no one believes me! The police grabbed me straight away!” she told reporters.

Grabbed possibly, but certainly not charged.

As Correio da Manhã explains, it looks like age is playing in Gonçalves’ favour as she continues to live her life in the suburb of Ermesinde, near Porto.

“It’s all lies,” she affirms. “If I ever stole anything, may God strike me dead and the battery I have in my heart stop.”