DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Pickpocket crimes are on the rise and thieves are targeting customers while dining at bars and restaurants, according to the Delray Beach Police Department.
On Wednesday, the department posted a message on its Twitter page warning residents of the new trend.
PICKPOCKET CRIMES:— Delray Beach Police (@DelrayBeachPD) January 27, 2021
A group of pickpockets continue to target people in the downtown area. They're stealing smartphones from people by bars/restaurants in the 100 and 200 blocks of E. Atlantic Avenue. DO NOT keep your smartphone in your back pocket or leave purses unattended. pic.twitter.com/POnD61JI2p
Sgt. James Schmidt said since November there have been at least 20 reported cases and the majority of the crimes have occurred at night along the 100 and 200 blocks of East Atlantic Avenue. In response to the trend, he's now warning customers to remain vigilant.
"Keep your personal items with you, cell phones in particularly, store them in your front pocket and your purses make sure they are closed as opposed to being open," Schmidt said. "When you get up take your stuff with you don't leave them on the tables or chairs."
Schmidt added that the crimes are being carried out by organized crooks as well as those who are simply taking advantage of the opportunity.