UPDATE: The suspect in a pickpocketing caught on camera has been arrested.

Robert Lee Short was seen slipping the woman's phone from her pocket and sticking it down the front of his pants in the video.

Short has been charged with theft of property.

Tips from the community helped identify Short and led to his arrest.


PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga police have identified the man wanted for pick-pocketing a woman at an area gas station earlier this month.

Police say Robert Lee Short is wanted for stealing a phone from a woman's pocket at the Kanku's on Central Avenue on February 9. 

Short faces a charge of theft under $1,000. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Police are looking for a bold thief caught on camera pickpocketing a woman while in line at a gas station.

It happened Saturday afternoon around 5:45 p.m. at the Kanku's on Central Avenue.

The theft was caught on surveillance video and shared with Channel 3.

It shows a man get in line behind a woman. Moments later, he carefully pulls an iPhone from her side pocket. Then he casually continues to stand in line.

The suspect is a white male with long blonde hair and some facial hair. At the time of the incident, he was wearing camouflage pants, a dark colored shirt, and a dark colored baseball cap.

Channel 3 explained what happened in the video to self-defense instructor and Zirk Ops owner Tammy Zirk over the phone.

 
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“These guys are so good talented with being able to get things without you being aware,” said Zirk. “Very seldom do we hear about pickpocketing but that sure doesn't mean it's not happening everywhere.”

Zirk says the key to protecting yourself is what she calls, situational awareness.

“That includes your personal space management not just keeping your head up looking around, paying attention to what's behind you and in front of you but also being aware of people getting up into your personal space,” she explained.

Zirk says always make sure purses or bags are zipped up and secure, but when it comes to smaller personal items like cellphones she says to “keep their valuables like in their front pockets. Don't put it in a back pocket or anywhere that don't have eyes on all of the time or where you wouldn't be able to defend. You have to go that extra mile and kind of exaggerate it for your own protection.”

Chattanooga police say this is the 16th time a pickpocketing theft has been reported in the last six months.

If you know the suspect or have any information call police. 

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: Gas station surveillance footage shows a man pickpocketing a woman in plain sight. 

According to Chattanooga Police, the suspect swiped an iPhone from a woman at a Kanku gas station on Central Avenue while she was paying on Saturday evening. 

The suspect is a white male with long blonde hair and facial hair. 

The woman, completely unaware, did not realize her phone had been stolen until much later.

If you recognize this man, contact Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525.