From time immemorial Pickpockets and Thieves have thrived by diverting someone’s attention by any means then going in for the kill. Pickpockets aren’t only operating on St. Petersburg and Clearwater tourists they’re after anyone who is vulnerable in the Tampa Bay Area. And you’re vulnerable as soon as your attention is diverted, even if only for a moment while reading what your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney is typing, so hold onto your wallet.
Clearwater Police say there’s been a spike on Clearwater Beach of Beach Blanket Bandits stealing cell phones, ipods, wallets and especially car keys while the victim walks the beach or swims. Possibly the downturn in the economy is creating more criminal activity than usual.
It’s best to keep as many valuables safely locked in the car as possible and if walking on the beach to keep valuables with you. In Florida any amount over $300 is a Grand Theft punishable by up to 5 years in prison; while an amount under $300 is Petty Theft. Anyone breaking into a vehicle with the intention of stealing is also guilty of a Burglary (A number of Beach Thefts occurred on the west side of the Clearwater Beach island, stretching from the 300 block of S Gulfview Boulevard on the south end to Rockaway Street farther north.).
Clearwater police see spike in beach blanket thefts
Here is a short excerpt from the always optimistic New York Times about Lush Workers who cut the pockets of those who are disoriented perhaps from that one drink too many at the end of the night. Many victims don’t report the crime because they’re too ashamed or inebriated:
There’s even a Chicago-based group of pickpockets who like something out of Oliver Twist, calling itself ‘Cannon to the Wiz’ have been merging low-tech pickpocketing with the modern scheme of choice, identity theft. The group has been active since at least 2007, “marrying high-tech fraud techniques with the Dickensian art of pickpocketing,” Wired.com reported.
|Charles Delort, The Pickpocket|