Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dragging n.

[drag v.1 (1) + sfx -ing]

1. [early 19C+] stealing from carts or vans.

2. [mid-19C] (US Und.) to steal goods deposited in shop doorways; thus dragging n.

3. [1900s] (Aus. Und.) to rob on the street, to ‘mug’; thus dragging n.

4. [1930s-50s] stealing from parked motor cars.

In compounds

dragging lark (n.) (also dragging game)

[1910s–30s] stealing from automobiles.