Staying safe at SunFest

Updated: Apr. 26, 2018 at 11:54 PM EDT
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SunFest is just one week away and police are urging you to be smart before you head to the music festival.

Concerts begin on Thursday in downtown West Palm Beach and run through Sunday night, with a fireworks show in between. You most likely will be busy enjoying the music and taking pictures, which means thieves will try to take advantage of picking through your pockets and taking your stuff.

That is why the West Palm Beach Police Department is ramping up for a busy week of patrolling the grounds.

"We are having an adequate and robust number of officers and security personnel -- and security measures -- in place to ensure the safety of SunFest," said Assistant Chief Tony Spatara.

Spatara could not share exactly how many officers will be out for safety reasons but he said residents should rest easy.

"Rest assured that we will have them in strategic locations monitoring the activity of the crowd," he said.

Police said they had no major issues with thieves during last year's SunFest, other than a serial pickpocketer from Miami who was caught with dozens of cellphone and credit cards. Angel Torres, 30, was arrested for multiple counts of grand theft.

"They left their cellphones hanging out of their pockets, behind them. They weren't paying attention," Spatara said of some of Torres' targets.

So officers suggest lightening your load before heading into the festival.

"The least amount of items, personal items that you can bring into SunFest, we recommend that," said Spatara. "Don't bring additional items, bags, or purses that you might set down."

If you're with a group of people, try taking one bag for everyone. Either take turns looking after the bag or appoint someone in the group to watch it.

Spatara said if you ever feel uncomfortable, you will always be steps away from an officer for help.

"If anyone sees anything suspicious, please follow 'See Something, Say Something' and call police," he said.

Ticket fraud is another issue to be cautious of right now. Make sure you get your tickets from a reliable source, such as the SunFest website or Publix. Do not buy off the street or questionable websites on the Internet.

Your last chance to get your tickets at a discount is this Saturday. Click here to buy your tickets.

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