Metro police are warning people to be alert when attending concerts and in crowded places, because pick pockets are targeting people.
"There are people out there that are looking for those opportunities to snatch a purse, bring it to the bathroom, look through it take and take what is valuable," Central Precinct Community Affairs Officer Sgt. John Bourque said. "We like people to think of it like cash. You would not leave $500 in cash lying on the table, so why would you leave your purse or your phone."
Sgt. Bourque said pick pocketing happens all over the city. In the entertainment district of downtown, which Central Precinct patrols, the problem can be more prevalent during large events.
"Where there are more people there is more opportunity and more criminals out there looking to take advantage of that opportunity," Sgt. Bourque said. "You just need to be extra careful and vigilant to watch out for your items."
An alert security guard at Bar 151 on Second Avenue helped police catch two women who were charged with theft in connection with taking a woman's purse from the bar.
Both Jessica Blackburn, 31, and Daisy Pittman, 27, are charged with theft of property.
According to arrest records, police found the victim's iPhone on Blackburn and credit cards on Pittman.
Blackburn's theft charge is a felony because the phone is valued at more than $500.
"We believe they were working together," Sgt. Bourque said. "One was kind of looking out while the other one would snatch the purse, take the items of value from the purse and throw the purse into the garbage."
He continued, "They can hide the smaller items like cash and phones on their person."
Both women have multiple prior arrests for theft and police said may be tied to other unsolved thefts around downtown Nashville.
Metro police also said intoxicated people become easy targets.
"If someone passes out because they have had too much to drink, whether it be on the street or in an establishment, someone might take that opportunity to snatch their phone and their wallet because it is easy," Sgt. Bourque said.
Laura Perkoski is visiting Nashville from Pittsburgh. She said while in a new town she always keeps a tight grip on her purse.
"I usually keep it by my feet because I figure no one can get it if it is by my feet," she said. "They would have to fight me."
Perkoski said she also keeps her cell phone in a front pocket to protect it from thieves.
"No one can reach into my front pocket to get it," She said.
Perkoski continued, "When you visit a city you tend to go places where there are a lot of people from different places its just a crazier crowd."
Police said people who see someone suspicious should notify security at an establishment or a police officer if they see someone in the area.
Thursday, August 28 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-28 19:28:07 GMT
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