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30 October 2013, 11:20
Northumbria Police have released CCTV footage showing how quickly sneak thieves can steal your stuff on a night out
The footage (below) is from Tup Tup Palace inN ewcastle late on a Friday night
It shows a man taking just seconds to open a woman's bag and stealing her mobile.
It's been released as part of an operation by police to crackdown on thefts in the city's pubs and bars.
Chief Inspector Bruce Storey, Newcastle Area Command, said:
"This is an example of how it takes just a few seconds for a person to steal from another, taking advantage of crowded bars and clubs.
I want people to see how easy it is for a thief and how important it is for them to keep their property close to them, have it in view at all times, and be aware that opportunist thieves do operate.
We understand that people may drop their guard on a night out but this shows that expensive property can be stolen in just a moment, so taking time to always have security in your mind can ultimately save a lot of frustration and inconvenience, not to mention cost."
Police carry out continued crackdowns on opportunist thieves in Newcastle city centre and just last week launched Operation Cracker aimed at tackling thieves during the festive season.
Crime prevention advice includes:
* Making sure you can see your bag at all times
* Keep it in your hand or if hanging on your shoulder keep it zipped with your hand over the opening.
* Be vigilant when in crowded places and never leave any belongings unattended
* Expensive iPhones or Blackberrys lying alone on bar tables are attractive to opportunist thieves