Pickpocketing is up as much as 175% in downtown Austin, Texas, so next time you visit be aware and keep a close eye on your wallet.

Pickpocketing

Pickpocketing is a crime you just don't hear much about these days. It doesn't make the news, and most of the time when you're the victim of pickpocketing, you may just assume you lost or misplaced whatever it is that was stolen from you.

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In fact, most people don't even know it's happening to them unless they actually catch the pickpocket in action. That's when things can get real ugly.

Pickpocketing in Austin, Texas

According to KXAN, Austin Police Department data shows pickpocketing has gone up 269% across the city, and it's not just wallets that are being stolen. Criminals are also targeting phones and purses. Downtown Austin is the area that has seen the largest rise in pickpocketing, with an increase of 157%.

Kelsey Crouch is the owner of Valor Defense Academy tells KXAN,

“You see some lady with a Louis Vuitton purse in their shopping cart, or just barely sat down next to her feet or hanging off a chair at a restaurant, and she’s so engaged (in conversation) that (pickpocketers) know (they) get cash for that. They’re smart. They know they’re not stealing Walmart purses.”

More crowds, more targets for the pickpocketers.

Prevention

Losing a purse, wallet, or phone to a pickpocket can ruin a night out fast, but there are ways to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

First, pay attention to your surroundings, especially in a crowd. The criminal is watching you, so make sure you are watching out for them.

Second, use common sense. Don't leave your purse or phone unattended, and keep any cash or valuables you have in your purse out of sight. If the criminal can see what you have, you may become the target.

Texas Crime Statistics By City

Check to see how crime compares in your city versus elsewhere.

The Top 10 Worst Places to Live in Texas

While it's always a good idea to know about areas with the lowest crime rates and best recreational opportunities when you are looking for a place to live, it’s also important to know which places to avoid. Even if you move to a neighborhood with a low crime rate, you could also be close to less safe communities.

Here are the top 10 worst places to live in Texas according to moneyinc.com.