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After joining the Thieves Guild, Delvin Mallory will tell you that he handles all the fishing, numbers and bedlam jobs, with "fishing" being a euphemism for picking someone's pockets. Ask him for a "fishing" job and he will give you a target and tell you to steal a particular item from them.
The item that needs to be stolen is a randomly-selected gem or unenchanted piece of jewelry (circlet, necklace, or ring); see Leveled Lists for details. When the quest is started, the item is placed in the inventory of a randomly-selected NPC. Nearly anyone in any of the five main cities can be a target. Notable exceptions include guards, Thieves Guild members, and children. If Dragonborn is installed, NPCs in Raven Rock can also be targets.
You must not be caught and sent to jail while the quest is active, for any reason, otherwise you will fail the quest; you also cannot kill the target. Once you have retrieved the item, return to Delvin for a leveled gold reward.
- If the target is a possible follower, then it is possible to complete this quest without committing a crime; simply recruit the follower and remove the item from their inventory.
- Version 1.3.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch limits the target cities to those found in the base game.
- The cleanup script will take any similar item rather than the quest item. This cleanup script is run whether you are successful or cancelling the job and will remove items from your inventory. Any items that are taken are permanently destroyed so it is recommended that you save and drop all items of the same type (if he wants a gold diamond necklace drop all gold diamond necklaces including custom enchanted ones). You can also work around this bug by giving all items of the same type to a follower.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.3.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- There is a chance that this quest may involve stealing items from a number of people where the chance of the steal will always be 0%, no matter what Pickpocket perks or skill you have.
- You may request to cancel the quest if this happens.
- Open the console, and click the victim to select them. Type "showinventory" (to find the ID of the quest target). Type "drop <ID number of the quest object> 1". Steal the quest target after it falls to the ground.
- If you have the poisoned perk, you can reverse pickpocket a paralysis poison into the target. As the potion is coming close to wearing off, there will be a brief moment where you can pickpocket anything with 100% success, and won't get a bounty even if you're seen doing it (because the game thinks you're just corpse-looting, which always succeeds and is perfectly legal). However, you have to time your pickpocketing correctly for this to work, so you may want to save before attempting.