Concert pickpocket secreted phones inside swimsuit
A man who pickpocketed more than 50 phones from gig-goers in just one night has been jailed after West Midlands Police found he concealed them inside a full-length swimsuit.
Alin Marin, of no fixed address, turned himself into a “human deposit box” for phones swiped while jostling with revellers in the mosh pit during a Royal Blood concert at Arena Birmingham on 18 November.
However, West Midlands Police officers were also mingling with the crowd that night as part of a covert operation prompted by intelligence that thieves had targeted fans of the band at performances earlier this year.
Romanian national Marin had secreted 53 phones inside a compression suit he was wearing beneath his clothing. He was arrested in Broad Street shortly after leaving the gig – and the phones recovered from a nearby car park.
The 22-year-old was charged with theft and at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday (Mon 18 Dec) was jailed for three years after admitting the offence.
Birmingham city centre Police Sergeant Julia Slater said the jail term should send out a clear message to travelling thieves: come to the West Midlands and you risk being jailed.
She added: “This was organised pickpocketing… Marin went equipped to steal phones and took advantage of revellers enjoying themselves in the standing area.
“Many of the phones were taken from front jeans pockets, which people believe is a safer place to carry valuables, but due to the jostling in the mosh pit they simply didn’t realise they’d been targeted.
“He slipped phones inside the swimsuit and effectively turned himself into a deposit box for the phones, allowing him to carry tens of phones concealed around his body.”
And Sgt Slater urged other gig-goers to be vigilant when attending busy venues.
“It’s an unfortunately reality that large crowds at concerts can make rich pickings for career criminals,” she added.
“We’re on to these offenders but you can also reduce your chances of falling victim to such crimes by remaining extra vigilant; look out fort suspicious behaviour and only take the valuables with you that you really need.”
People are urged to record details of their mobile phones and other valuables on the national property register at www.immobilise.com, which can help police reunite stolen items with owners.