AAA-Mid Atlantic warns of pickpockets targeting crowds at March - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

AAA-Mid Atlantic warns of pickpockets targeting crowds at March on Washington

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Keep your purse close and your phones closer. While thousands of people will flock to the District on August 24th for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, pickpockets will be on the prowl.

AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning marchers to safeguard gadgets such as laptops, mp3 players and smartphones against criminals looking for distracted and unsuspecting victims.

During 2012 alone, snatchers stole from 668 Metro riders, according to WMATA.

Here are some tips provided by AAA-Mid Atlanta to thwart thieves:

- Be aware of your surroundings where people are packed in close quarters on mass transit, on elevators and escalators.

- Don’t doze off while riding on mass transit.

- Carry your electronic device in your front pocket or a place where it is not easily seen or reachable.

- Avoid using an electronic device on platforms.

- If you must use an electronic device protect it by holding it with both hands at all times.

- Keep your wallet as close to your body as possible, such as in a pants pocket or inside jacket pocket.

- Keep your purse on your lap.

- Change the color of your earphones. White or red wires can indicate expensive equipment.

- Keep the volume low if you have headphones or earbuds on so you can hear what's happening around you

- Locate the emergency notification buttons in the stations and on trains.

- Don’t wear valuable jewelry — especially anything with gold — or tuck it under your clothes or put it out of view.

- Don’t carry valuables in a backpack or fanny pack.

- When parking at a transit facility take all valuables with you. Remove the GPS and holder.

- If parking a bike at a transit station, use a high quality lock that cannot be easily broken.

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