Max Schilling is a skilled pickpocket, a real artist with his fingers. He especially likes to use his virtuoso skills on the racetrack, where other people want to collect huge winnings. He puts a spoke in their wheel by stealing the money-bearing betting slips. Max has no moral scruples, after all he has a wife and two children, Egon and Brigitte, to feed – and they think he's an insurance agent. But when two of Max's acquaintances, the junior crooks Joe and Fred, are ripped off by a ruthless gangster boss and are found dead in the river by the police, he starts to doubt his job. He decides to help the police, but even when the gangster is caught, Max no longer enjoys his job. He decides to get out and go straight, with the help of his friend, police inspector Friedrich.