Crime: hugger muggers

Recently you may have read about the phenomenon of hugger muggers - criminals who pretend to befriend people in pubs and clubs in order to steal their belongings.

Hugger mugger (posed by model)

'Hugger mugger' isn't the most accurate of names seeing as these criminals don't mug anyone (mugging being to 'attack and rob in a public place', OED) and they don't necessarily hug anyone either. Mind you, 'befriender-thief' sounds more like a misguided social initiative than a new strain of criminal.

But ignoring all that, what is the crime associated with hugger muggers? Is it hugger mugging? Hugger muggering? Hugging mugging? Huggering muggering?

Incidentally, I was almost the victim of a rather incompetent hugger mugger in Camden a few weeks ago. He managed to lift my mobile phone from my jeans pocket whereupon it fell on the floor and I picked it up again. Actually seeing as my phone is rather old and dented now he may well just have decided not to bother...

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