Apollo Pickpockets Picked up in Sting Operation

Six people arrested at Specials concert


National Mobile Phone Crime Unit

Hammersmith Broadway Safer Neighbourhoods Team

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Six people have been arrested following an undercover sting on pickpockets at a Specials concert at HMV Hammersmith Apollo.

Following the arrests on November 24, police are warning concert goers to take care with their phones, as they believe this sort of theft is a growing problem.

They say organised thieves have begun to target gigs using the crowd as cover for their crimes. The thieves are aiming to steal high-end mobile phones.

Their victims may not even be aware that they have been robbed and simply assume they have lost them, so the scale of the problem may not be fully realised.

Detective Superintendent Nev Nolan, head of the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, says: " We are concerned that organised thieves are targeting concerts to steal phones from genuine fans.

" A lot of people like to use their mobile phones to film or take photographs of the concert, but will then return the phone to an insecure bag or pocket, where thieves are able to snatch it."

The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU), part of the the Metropolitan Police, is working with local concert venues and local police, including Hammersmith Broadway Safer Neighbourhoods Team to combat crime at concerts.  They have put up posters at venues warning people to look after their phones and made crime prevention messages available via Bluetooth.

If you think you have been a victim of phone theft, you can find out what to do next at unit's website, National Mobile Phone Crime Unit.


December 17, 2009