Pickpockets targeting Dutch festivals; Mysteryland attendees warned
Pickpockets are increasingly striking at large events and festivals, specifically targeting partiers’ phones, the police said on Friday. People attending Mysteryland this weekend should be extra alert, warned Rene Middag, the project leader of Mobile Banditry at the police.
“We see major peaks at events such as King’s Day and Price. In the days before that, we received about 15 to 20 reports of pickpocketing per day. On King’s Day, there were 182 reports. Over 300 reports were made during Pride,” Middag said.
According to Middag, the culprits are often international gangs that target festivals and other major events all over Europe. “Arrests in the Netherlands and other countries showed that there are lists of events in which these groups are interested. That includes Mysteryland. So this weekend, the pickpockets have that festival in their sights as well.”
Middag advised Mysterland and other event attendees to install apps like find my device or find my iPhone. “If your phone is stolen, you can still trace it. Such systems have enabled us to apprehend suspects. The pickpockets collect the phones at a central point. There they turn off the devices and send them abroad to sell there. In the first hours, we still have a chance to trace the stolen phones,” she said.
Event attendees should also write down their phone’s IMEI number, be extra alert in crowded places, and not carry their phones or wallets in their pockets.