The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Picture: Andrea Schaffer,

London - This is the extraordinary moment two young pickpockets were caught on camera slipping a woman’s watch from her wrist as her boyfriend took the photograph.

Wearing bright traditional Thai costumes outside a temple, the girls cling on to her arm as one of them unclasps the wristwatch.

The woman, who has not been identified, was standing in front of the 300 steps leading to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

The couple only noticed the theft once they reviewed the snapshots from their holiday.

“This solved the mystery of the missing watch,” the man wrote, conceding the pair had a bit to drink before visiting the temple.

After posting the photo online, others shared pictures of what appeared to be the same girls from their own trips.

One wrote: “Adorable, adorable thieves. I didn’t suspect a thing.” Another user said the girls must be the “two most popular child thieves in all of Asia”, while one said there were around six girls in the same outfit and guessed they could be an “organised gang”.

Some commented on what they called the youngsters’ technique, with one saying: “Notice how the thief is touching her hand in several places?

“It’s a pickpocket technique so they get accustomed to being touched by the thief and stop registering all of the touches.”