2001-12-08 / Front Page

NYPD: Keep Pickpockets At Bay

NYPD: Keep Pickpockets At Bay

With the holiday season upon us, the New York City Police Department is continuing to warn residents about the danger of pickpockets, whose numbers seem to increase each holiday season.

According to police officers Rick Huether, the crime prevention officer for the 100 Precinct and Mike Ventura, the crime prevention officer for the 101 Precinct, "pickpockets are not a big problem here in Rockaway, but it does happen from time to time."

The officers want you to keep some simple safety tips in mind while shopping locally or in the malls.

"There are a couple of simple ways you can become a victim of pickpockets," the officers say. "Wallets are often picked from purse or rear pocket. You can be bumped into by one person while the other picks your wallet. This is called the ‘bump and run.’ Your pocket or purse strap can be cut with a sharp object. Men are often distracted by a woman who seems to be ‘coming on to him’ while another person picks his pocket."

The officers urge that you not be distracted by strangers asking directions, that you be wary if somebody tells you that you have something on your clothes, such as a condiment or other object. Women should not carry valuables in a shoulder bag and that bag should not be hanging behind you, where you cannot see it. Keep the flap inside. Men should carry their wallet in an inside or side pocket rather than a rear pocket.

"Always stay alert," the cops urge. "Be wary of people who drop things in front of you or attempt to distract you."

Follow these tips, the cops say, and it will indeed be a happy shopping season.

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