Two pickpockets who stole dozens of phones from fans attending a Slipknot gig at Manchester Arena have been jailed.
Mihaita Marius Caban, 34, and Marius Patriche, 33, swiped the phones while fans were “jumping up and down” at the show on January 16, Manchester Evening News reports.
Caban was detained by security staff as he left the gig and arrested by British Transport Police officers.
They discovered he had 14 phones hidden in a swimming costume he was wearing underneath his clothes.
Patriche was arrested later that evening after victims tracked their stolen phones to the Ibis Hotel in Salford. After searching his room, officers found a suitcase containing 10 mobile phones. Concert tickets were also found, alongside swimsuits and cash.
Investigating officer DCI Marcus Haigh said: “Thanks to the keen eyes of security staff at the Arena who detained Caban, officers were able to arrest him.
“Tracking devices on the stolen phones led officers to Patriche who admitted he had attended the concert intent on a crime spree, removing victims’ phones from their pockets as they were jumping up and down to the music.
“Thieves like Caban and Patriche are drawn to busy environments, not just concerts but train stations and anywhere where their victims may be temporarily distracted.
“We advise people to stay vigilant in these situations and to keep an eye on their belongings at all times making sure they are safe and secure and where possible, out of sight.
“We use variety of tactics to deter organised crime gangs from targeting events like these and share information with other agencies in the UK and abroad in a bid to apprehend those responsible.”
Caban, of no fixed address, was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to theft charges.
Patriche, also of no fixed address, admitted theft charges and was sentenced to eight weeks in prison. Both men were ordered to pay £122 victim surcharge.