The federal police are deploying additional patrols in Brussels’ Gare du Midi from Monday due to an increase in the number of thefts reported inside and around the station, as well as onboard trains.
Municipal authorities in Saint-Gilles requested more officers to patrol the station after thefts more than doubled in the station in recent months, according to figures cited by RTL.
An unnamed police source confirmed to the outlet that there had been a hike in the number of theft and pickpocketing complaints, particularly inside the station as well as onboard trains operated by Thalys.
Shopkeepers in the station said unsuspecting tourists traveling through Belgium’s busiest train station were a common target.
“Sometimes, they lose passports, important documents,” one shopkeeper told the news site, adding: “I once saw an English costumer who had his wallet and three passports stolen — he was in tears.”