It's a busy busy street, and I was actually the "attempted victim" of a pickpocket. Can't believe it :-) but after all these years (and 2nd time in St Petersburg) the pickpockets finally attempted it. Of course they got nothing because I don't carry valuables in my pants pocket.
It was a version of the "stop at the top of the escalator so that everybody falls all over everybody else and the thieves get you". This time we were just walking on crowded Nevsky Prospekt and got wedged up next to one of the plexiglass walls of one of the many bus stops along the road. The man and woman in front of me stopped and turned around acting as if they were lost. They pushed me up against the wall as they abruptly stopped and turned around. I felt a hand go into my pocket and the woman also grabbed my wife's purse. My wife saw the scam happening and jumped in front so that their attempt was futile.
Funny how some people work so hard at taking other people's property instead of just getting a job. Bums!