Pickpockets Hit Minute Maid Park

Minute Maid Park, Houston.

We’ve all heard the warnings forever about crowds and pickpockets. “Watch your wallet! Beware of the old ‘Excuse me’ bump after colliding with a stranger on a crowded concourse! Don’t leave your wallet in your back pocket, where it is easiest to reach!” And on and on. We’ve heard them so much that we have begun to think that pickpockets are the stuff of Oliver Twist, or Gypsy camps, or Mexican border town markets, or the back streets of Paris, or any other foreign or unfamiliar port of call. We have fallen into the trap of feeling safe in those places that are familiar to us. Bottom Line: An overdose of familiarity sets us for the double play of greatest risk. (1) It can’t happen to me; and (2) It can’t happen here.

Well, as a friend of mine learned only three night ago this past Wednesday, it can happen to us – and it can happen here – and right here at home, smack dab in the midst of the friendly confines of our very own Minute Maid Park. My friend doesn’t want the notoriety of having his name put out there in association with the crime that has fallen upon him, but he does want people warned: It can happen to you – and right here in your home away from home at the ballpark.

Pickpockets hit my buddy at Minute Maid Park Wednesday night. They got his wallet from his back pocket before he even knew what had hit him and, with the steal, they got a large amount of cash, all his credit cards, and an irreplaceable sentimental item that he had carried on his person for years. My friend reported the crime at the ballpark, but not before the thieves had already started using one credit card, To make things worse, he could not remember all the dangerous credit and other identity items that he might have been carrying in the wallet. It’s going to take some time to reconstruct what was there so that everything that needs to be braked i stopped and reissued.

And all of this torment has come down upon my friend because of this unfounded wish we have to live in a trustworthy world. It doesn’t take long for a couple of low life crumb-bums to bring down a rain of painful reality upon that slice of misguided wishfulness.

The police at Minute Maid told my friend that pickpockets are a cyclical problem at the ball park. In other words, these problems only happen on the days that pickpockets have tickets for a game and then actually show up to reap havoc. Unfortunately, pickpockets do not make their season ticket plans available for public scrutiny so we can know when its best to stay home. These people are sociopaths. Crooks. People with no profile identity, but people with absolutely no concern for bringing harm to others.

So, what can we do to protect ourselves? (1) The best we can do is not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security that we are safe in familiar public environments like the trusty old ballpark. Pickpockets and thieves are ready to strike wherever they see the opportunity. (2) Do an inventory of how much cash and what credit and identity cards you are carrying in your wallet or purse. (2) Do not carry anything of irreplaceable sentimental value on your person. (4) As you’ve heard a thousand times, be aware of your surroundings. (5) Don’t flash cash or credit cards in crowded public view. (6) Keep your wallet in a side pocket, not the back one – and keep your hands on your wallet whenever you are walking through crowds of people. (7) Never abandon common sense.

It’s a tough old world out there. Always has been. Always will be. We have to be tougher. And as smart and conscious as we can be.

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3 Responses to “Pickpockets Hit Minute Maid Park”

  1. Sue Says:

    Thank you for the alert, Buff. Pickpockets are the last thing on my mind when at a game. And this would be a good weekend for them to be out in force.

  2. Bob Hulsey Says:

    In tough economic times, people will turn to more desperate measures. I’m sorry this happened to your friend.

    On the other hand, I take a small cloth bag with me when I go to Minute Maid to carry items like sunglasses, phone, camera and other things one acquires at the ballpark. After another disappointing loss, I absent-mindedly left the ballpark without my bag I’d left under my seat.

    I realized this once I’d sstepped onto Texas Ave and rushed back in, swimming against the tide of people trying to leave. When I got back to the section, there was a middle-aged mother carrying my bag. She was planning to take it to the Lost and Found.

    I got the bag from her and then gave her my bobblehead doll as a “reward”.

    So, not everyone in the stands is a crook but I do wish more of them would remain seated while the game is in progress.

  3. BECKY WYATT Says:

    thanks dr bill, this is a great ‘heads up’, for all of us trustworthy folks out there.

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