Unscrupulous barber-surgeons and doctors who run gangs of child beggars as a lucrative source of income. Rippers deliberatley mutilate their charges in order to play on the sympathies of passers-by and thus gain more money. Most people are unaware of the existence of Rippers. Street children often willingly become involved with Rippers in order to earn more money. They are also generally well cared for by the Ripper.