The police in Brussels has warned of an increase in incidents of pickpocketing in which people's wallets and mobile phones were being stolen in the city centre.
The team specialised in detecting pickpocketing named the Trekkers have "had their hands full in recent days with some petty thieves active in the city centre of Brussels," a police statement read.
Officers noticed a man behaving suspiciously on Wednesday 2 March and upon following him noticed he was trying to pay using contactless payment in shops, and that he was not able to pay when the amount exceeded the limit to use this payment option.
Upon intervening after several such incidents, they discovered that the man had two stolen bank cards, a stolen identity card and two stolen mobile phones in his possession.
The suspect was handed over to the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office and will have to appear before the criminal court by direct summons at the end of this month.
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This case followed a similar incident on Tuesday when they arrested two thieves who were operating at a rapid speed in the city centre. After observing the two suspects, and witnessing them steal a mobile phone from a person's jacket, they were transferred to the police station.
They too have been handed over to the public prosecutor's office. One of them will have to appear before the Correctional Court by direct summons.
The police stressed that to prevent such crimes from happening, people should never put wallets or mobile phones in the back pocket of trousers or the front pocket of a rucksack, and instead put it in inside pockets, and to not keep bank cards and codes together.