1. [mid-16C–18C] a thief, orig. one who uses a pole with a hook at one end to ‘fish’ items from open windows, unguarded market stalls, passing carts etc; thus bene hooker boy, an expert thief.
2. [mid-19C] (US) a shoplifter.
3. [late 19C–1950s] a pickpocket, esp. of watches.