Our city is experiencing a rapid growth of activities in the downtown and Jordan Creek area. There are so many different types of things to do that they draw very large crowds in a somewhat small area. These large crowds can lead to parking and transportation problems. To avoid this, many people walk from place to place in the downtown area.
Criminals, especially pickpockets and distraction thieves, will target these areas because of the distraction techniques they can use and the large number of people that enter the area. You can avoid becoming a victim by using some easy-to-follow preventive techniques.
Prevent Distraction or Pickpocket Theft
- Use handbags or purses that have a zipper or locking flap. Keep the zipper or locking flap closed when not using your handbag and carry it close to your body.
- Carry wallets inside your coat pocket or front pants pocket. Never carry your wallet in your rear pants pocket without a chain or button pocket to secure it.
- Beware of loud arguments and commotions in crowded areas. Thieves may stage these incidents to distract you while they pick your pocket or steal from you.
- If you are unnecessarily bumped or crowded, be aware that a pickpocket might be responsible and check your valuables.
- If you are pickpocketed, alert everyone you can in the immediate area and call the police.
- Avoid crowding in the area of a bus, cab, or revolving doors when entering and exiting. Crowded areas are a desired target for thieves due to the congestion and confusion.
- Be on guard if a stranger tries to point something out to you or distract you in any way.
- Be careful while banking at an ATM. Pickpockets will try to distract you from what you’re doing so you’ll lower your guard.
Pickpockets and distraction thefts are much more popular in large cities. While these are good techniques to follow when traveling to a large city, remember that Springfield is becoming a large city with a growing downtown. Always be on your guard and avoid becoming a victim.