Well, the story behind this statue helps explain it. Because the pickpocket here is not a real-life one, but a fictional one. This statue was erected in 1998 (after the fall of the USSR) but commemorates Mikhail Panikovsky, a character in the 1931 Soviet era novel "The Golden Calf."
The Panikovsky statue resembles the Soviet era film star Zinovy Gerdt, who played the role of Panikovsky in the 1968 film version of the story. There used to be a cane in his right hand, but it has been vandalized. :-(
More at… Kyiv Post