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Thieves Targeting Wallets in Downtown Austin

Updated: Tuesday, August 5 2014, 05:56 PM CDT

It's a pedestrian playground of sorts. East 6th Street is filled with foot traffic but it's at night when this stretch of Downtown Austin really comes to life.

"Right now a big concern is walking to your car by yourself," said Jason Bertino.

Bertino is a bartender at the dizzy rooster. He claims closing time is prime time for thieves looking for quick cash.

"We always walk in groups to make sure people don't get targeted by groups of guys who are trying to pick pocket," added Bertino.

Over the weekend cops say Justin Thomas (pictured) lifted a wallet from a man's back pocket. According to an arrest affidavit the victim chased Thomas down E. 6th St. but lost him around San Jacinto. He found his wallet on the ground. Lucky for the victim his cash and credit cards were still inside.

According to krimelabb there's been 66 theft from person reports in the 78701 zip code so far this year. 

"It's the end of the night, people are more tired, had a couple of drinks possibly and aren't alert to their surroundings," said Lieutenant Brian Gruetzner.

 And those who are aware are changing the way they travel.

"We usually condense everything into a back pack and my husband carries the back pack," said Lydia Hopkins.

(Photo from the Austin Police Department.)

By Alex Boyer

Thieves Targeting Wallets in Downtown Austin

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