Thieves target community pools, steal from victims feet away - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Thieves target community pools, steal from victims just feet away

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Counting down the last few weeks of summer vacation means getting in as much pool time as possible. But while you're there having fun in the sun, thieves are lurking about, looking for their next victim.

Officer Hassan Peterson, a community coordinator in the University City division, says it's happening whenever you check your Iphone or Ipad in between dips in the pool.

"Well while you're doing that, the suspect's looking at you like I just found my next victim," he said.

Police say they've seen a spike in thefts at community pools this summer.

Thieves just swiping smartphones, tablets and MP3 players while the victims are just feet away.

Kim-ya Lewis, of Charlotte, isn't surprised by the new crime trend.

"That's why I don't ever have my phone at the pool, period," she said."And I don't think anyone else should either. Because you never what people will do."

It's why police say it's better to leave those items in your car. Even though you may feel safe at a neighborhood pool, Officer Peterson say you may not know everyone there.

"The communities are doing a good job of keeping track of who's supposed to be in the pools and who's not," he said. "But I can bring a friend and that friend can bring a friend. And they're all with me and suddenly, you have people who don't normally live in that community inside the pool." 

He also adds that you keep an eye out for anyone suspicious who may be rummaging through bags. Anybody who looks like they're there to do anything other than swim.

"I can't tell you what's suspicious," he said. "But if you have to think twice, then that's enough."

Police ask you to call 911 anytime you see suspicious activity.

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