LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are cautioning visitors to the Las Vegas Strip of increased crime in the tourist corridor.
Police Capt. Todd Fasulo said officers have noted an increase in robberies and burglaries on the Strip within the last month.
Tourists are commonly seen walking, talking, texting and snapping photos on the Strip.
The problem, Fasulo said, is that thieves are watching. He said thieves are stealing iPhones, iPad, wallets or whatever else they can get -- snatching them right out of people's hands.
"The robberies are up a little bit, the burglaries are up a little bit," Fasulo said. "Burglaries are up about 16 percent. It's still lower than what it was last year, and even our robberies, even though those are up a little bit, those are still down (over) last year as well."
Thieves are targeting vulnerable tourists such as Jason Moss.
"We were just walking, trying to have a good time out here and they just grabbed it out my hand and ran off," said Moss, whose iPhone was stolen.
Moss said he tried to chase down the thief, but he got away.
"I'm going to guard my stuff from now on," he said. "I mean, you've got to have a back-up plan."
Last week, police officers busted a large group of street thieves targeting tourists on the Strip.
Metro officers have also seized 26 firearms from people on the Strip since January. In Nevada, people who have not been convicted of a felony are allowed to openly carry a firearm or obtain a permit to carry one concealed. However, according to Metro, the firearms seized were taken from people who were either drunk, using the firearm to commit a crime or not legally permitted to carry one.
"That is 26 people that had a weapon that could have been used in a violent act and it didn't," Fasulo said.
So far, no major violent incidents have been committed on the Strip this year -- a trend Fasulo said the police department hopes will continue.
To protect yourself, Fasulo said to be cautious, aware of your surroundings and not take any unnecessary risks.
Strip businesses, including casinos, nightclubs and shopping centers, are working together with Metro Police to gather information on the street thieves.
Metro met on Thursday with the heads of security on the Strip to exchange information in an effort to keep the tourist attraction safe.
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