VISITORS to Shepherd’s Bush Empire have been warned to be on their guard after ‘at least’ 20 mobile phones were taken at a concert there last week.
The thieves struck during a Two Door Cinema Club gig on Thursday night. At least 20 people reported having phones stolen.
One of the victims, 43-year-old Chris Miller, who travelled from Tadcaster in Yorkshire, said: “We were at the front where there was a bit of rough and tumble. A young girl was in front of us looking at the floor saying she had lost her phone and another person said the same.
“People were looking on the floor with torches and it didn’t click what had happened until I couldn’t find my phone either.”
Mr Miller said it was not long before the full scale of the theft became apparent.
“There were about 25 people all reporting the same thing,” he said.
“Police said they suspect it was an Eastern European gang. I think what happens is they go to the liveliest part of the venue, at the front, and crowd surf and get involved with the pushing and shoving and then nick stuff. My jeans were tight so I can’t understand how they got into my pockets.”
Mr Miller said security measures must be improved at the venue and that other gig-goers should be on their guard, adding: “There are signs warning of pickpockets, lots of police and security, which is good and I know there’s not much they can do.
“But I can’t understand why, after so many people had complained, they didn’t do targeted searches at the end.
“Yes it would have been an inconvenience, but tough. It was a ridiculous situation.”