Life will rob you. Rob life back.
-- Guild motto
Street-rats, orphans, beggars, pickpockets, burglars... these are the sorts that make up the Borrowers, a collective network of thieves that dwell deep underneath the clockwork city of Gran Veritas. On the surface, police reports roll in of isolated burglaries or cases of pick-pocketing. In reality, all of these jobs are orchestrated heists to some degree.
The Borrowers are mostly made up of the troubled or unfortunate souls who have turned to a life of crime out of desperation. The members who stick around are those who have come to enjoy that life. Rough sleepers of the city streets are paid coin by the Borrowers to keep an eye out on rumors, gossip and potential marks. Orphan children are picked up off the streets and trained to frisk people's pockets and play baby if a police authority catches them. Professional burglars and acrobats plan more elaborate heists, making use of the money gathered by smaller jobs to stage grand larcenies. They rob trains, museums, carriages-- anything that isn't nailed down is a potential target for the Borrowers. And sometimes then, that's not enough.
Some Borrowers only partake in the fringes of their activity, keeping the occasional watch out or only joining for the latest rumors. The closer networks of Borrowers are 'as thick as thieves', as the saying goes, and rely deeply on one another for survival. To harm or apprehend one Borrower is just asking for their friends to come and mess you up. The group also have a collective dislike of the rich and affluent and take great pride in stealing from the rich (in their words, 'balancing the scales').
However, camaraderie is not to be mistaken for goodness. The Borrowers are still thieves, and for every Borrower that joins out of reluctant desperation to make ends meet there is another who is in it for the gold. The group have been known to target merchants and houses in times of crisis, and are not known for compassion or honour. If you have money, they will go for you-- it doesn't matter if your gold is for your trust fund or your dying relative's medical expenses.