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Throughout all of sequence 1 of Assassin's Creed II, I was able to pickpocket (steal, pilfer) at whim, and it was great! I used to find groups of people upon the streets that were in close proximity, I'd throw out some coin and when they all came running I'd pickpocket the lot of them.

Anyway, I just got done with sequence 2 and evidently any time that I pickpocket now it causes my notoriety to go up a smidgen. I find this extremely annoying! Is there any way to pickpocket without causing my notoriety to go up?

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Is it a coincidence that you like pickpocketing and your score is 420 [ In india such guys ( thugs and pickpocketrs ) are called 420 ] – Rakesh Juyal Jun 20 '12 at 10:07
Well now, that is certainly interesting, because in America 420 (pronounced four-twenty) stands for something quite different. However it is something that thugs and pickpockets most likely do as well! ;) – Jagd Jul 16 '12 at 22:17
up vote 15 down vote accepted

No, pickpocketing is considered an "illegal" action, which will always raise your notoriety. The only reason you were able to do it during Sequence 1 without penalty is because the game's notoriety system had not been introduced yet, so nothing added notoriety.

Honestly, the amount of money you gain from pickpocketing is so small that it isn't even worth doing. Buy a Treasure Map from an Art Merchant and spend some time collecting treasures if you need money right now, but once you progress through the game to the point where you start receiving "income" (won't spoil anything about the source), you should quickly end up with more money than you can ever possibly spend.

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When you progress during the storyline, you can gain special capes that will make your notoriety stay low no matter what you do. It's useful to gain the Pickpocket achievement. – Wilerson Jan 12 '11 at 17:04
@Wilerson - Sadly, I got the trophy (kleptomaniac) for it in the first sequence! Thanks for the advice on the cloak though; I'll keep my eye out for it. – Jagd Jan 12 '11 at 17:07
I suppose it depends how quickly you move through the storyline, but by the time I got the cape that Wilerson mentions, that was already long past the point of "there's no way I can ever spend all this money". I generally try to finish most of the available side-missions before advancing the story though, so your mileage may vary if you make the main story your priority. – Chad Birch Jan 12 '11 at 17:11
+1 for "amount of money you gain from pickpocketing is so small that it isn't even worth doing". Absolutely true, especially considering how much time it takes to reduce notoriety again. – Keaanu Jan 12 '11 at 18:52

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