Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Victim's Tale Is Reminder to Be Careful about Thefts; Ponte Vedran Shares His Experience at the Hands of a Pickpocket at Jaguars Game

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Victim's Tale Is Reminder to Be Careful about Thefts; Ponte Vedran Shares His Experience at the Hands of a Pickpocket at Jaguars Game

Article excerpt

Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES

A Ponte Vedra Beach man's recent experience getting robbed by a pickpocket was a vivid reminder for people to beware of all types of thievery.

And now that the holidays are quickly approaching, St. Johns County deputies are warning people that thefts are inevitably going to get worse.

The Ponte Vedra Beach man, who withheld his name, fell victim to a pickpocket at the Oct. 18 Monday night Jacksonville Jaguars game.

"If somebody says this happens to one in a 1,000, if you're the one, the other 999 don't matter," he told members of the Sheriff's Advisory Council (ShadCo) at its Nov. 9 meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach. "I feel violated."

ShadCo is a group led by law enforcement officials to talk about crime issues in Ponte Vedra Beach, Palm Valley and elsewhere.

"You're going to see this kind of stuff," said Lt. Tommy Aman, St. Johns County patrol administrator. "The bad guys are going to be looking for an easy prey. Coming up in the next two to three weeks, especially before Christmas, it's going to get worse."

The 72-year-old victim said he noticed that his wallet was missing from his back pocket just as quickly as it was snatched. In the very crowded concourse at EverBank Field, people walked shoulder-to-shoulder to get to their seats in the stadium. Someone had pushed him, said excuse me, then someone else walked up and his wallet was handed off. The sequence of events took place in about four seconds, the man said.

"By the time you realize it and your thoughts get together, they are gone," he said. "You never see them again."

Immediately after the incident, the man reported it to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and canceled all his credit cards. A driver's license, a Department of Defense retiree ID, Social Security and insurance cards were also taken.

But it wasn't until a week after the man and his wife returned from vacation that they noticed a "significant" amount of money withdrawn from their checking account. …

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