Pickpockets Hit Notre Dame in New Orleans

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Just as sports enthusiasts will travel to New Orleans for a big event like the Sugar Bowl, so will criminals.

Notre Dame officials refuse to confirm that their football players were pick pocketed after arriving in the city however, they do say they are handling the situation internally.

Rachel Thimlar and her friends are just a few of the hundreds of Notre Dame students heading to New Orleans for the game.

She says she was concerned when she heard the news.

“Pick pocketed makes me a little nervous because I've heard a lot of stories about New Orleans,” Thimlar admits. “We’ll definitely be careful. Going anywhere you have to be like that, but it wouldn't stop me (from going to the game) for a second.”

We spoke with New Orleans police by phone and they tell us pickpockets are looking to target the most susceptible people in a crowd.

They advise you take these steps to protect yourself.

First, don't over drink. It can put you at a disadvantage because you're less aware of your surroundings.

Minimize the amount of jewelry you wear. Pickpockets target people wearing flashy or excessive jewelry.

Be alert in large crowds. It's easier for a pickpocket to take your property when people are packed in, body to body.

Don't carry a lot of cash and keep those valuables in your front pockets.

“I think if our people stay in that downtown area, they are going to have a phenomenal New Orleans, Louisiana experience,” says Athletic Director Kevin White. “It will be just like it's always been. We would just discourage people from venturing out in other areas, particularly at late hours without appropriate caution.”

The area surrounding the Superdome is not among New Orleans' worst crime districts, according to police there.

But remember, pickpockets are visiting the "Big Easy" for this bowl game too and making yourself an easy a target could turn your trip into a big disaster.