Pickpockets Steal Indy Mayor’s Phone At Final 4

Detroit’s gone through some tough times lately, so it’s perhaps not entirely shocking that there are some people trying to take advantage of the tourists that have descended on the city for the Final Four.

Indy Mayor Greg Ballard

One such tourist was Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard, whose city is hosting the 2010 Final Four. On the walk back to his hotel from Ford Field after Saturday’s games, Ballard saw a man who he thought was having a seizure, so he did the good samaritan thing and stopped to help. Well, you know what happens next. Seizure guy was actually just fine, and a second man walked up to Ballard and grabbed his cell phone and took off. Ballard isn’t happy with Detroit, and Detroit is now unhappy with Ballard.

Find out why after the jump.

The DETROIT NEWS says Michigan police had issued an advance warning that a “nationally known group of professional pickpockets” were going to be in town for the event.

Apparently, the top achievers in the regional Professional Pickpocket League were given all-expenses paid trips to the Final Four. If the recession doesn’t hit you in the wallet, I guess these guys are there to make sure someone does.

The Detroit police are not pleased with Ballard, who issued a press release on Monday morning about the incident, referring to it as a “mugging.” Ballard issued the release without informing the police that he would be taking the incident public:

“It’s been described as a mugging,” said Detroit Police Second Deputy Chief James Tate. “By no means was it a mugging. He was not injured.”

Tate says a man was arrested over the weekend for pickpocketing, but he’s not sure if it’s the guy who took Ballard’s phone.

All we know is this: If anything happens to Detroit’s mayor in Indy next year, you can bet that he’ll be calling every TV station in town before he files a police report. What goes around, comes around, Indy.

Thanks to DEADSPIN for the tip.