FOX 32 NEWS - It only takes seconds and could ruin your holiday season.
On Tuesday, Chicago police warned residents and tourists to be aware of professional pickpockets and demonstrated how fast the criminals can strike.
The crime only lasts a couple of seconds and police say the pickpockets take advantage when you are distracted.
“Pickpockets take advantage of crowds and usually work in teams of 2-4, pay particular attention to body contact such as bumps, however slight they may seem,” said CPD Public Transportation Unit Commander Cindy Sams.
She said showing examples is a good reminder that criminals are out there, ready and waiting for you this holiday season.
Police told FOX 32 that they have about 25-50 active pickpockets in the city of Chicago a year.
“Remember, if you are carrying something that is easily accessible to you - it's likely easily accessible to someone else,” Sams said.
More tips this holiday season:
-Pay attention to your surroundings
-Don't use earbuds or constantly be on your cell phone
-Don't keep personal information in your wallet or purse
-See something suspicious say something
If you do fall victim to a pickpocket – call police immediately.