CHICAGO — The bump, the stall and the pass — are all common methods used by scam artists to strategically rob holiday shoppers, according to police.
The Chicago Police Department staged mock theft scenarios Thursday and offered safety tips for shoppers who’d prefer to keep their valuables during the holiday season — a time when pickpockets are at a peak.
Police have identified more than 165 active pickpockets who are recognizable on sight, said Commander John Graeber.
“Following these safety tips can keep people from falling prey to these opportunists,” he said.
Tips include keeping purses close to the body, keeping wallets in a breast pocket and never leaving packages in vehicles while shopping.
Minimizing use of cell phones was also highly recommended.
Officers used a red, wallet-sized object to simulate methods criminals are known to use in robberies — many of which while working in teams.
“It’s such a well-orchestrated event,” Graeber said. “To watch it on film never ceases to amaze me."