Paris police crack down on pickpocketing of tourists in public transit, department stores

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Paris police say they are getting a handle on crime against tourists.

In a briefing Tuesday, police said special units of officers have ramped up patrols of major tourist areas, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and major department stores, where pickpockets have targeted tourists getting off buses.

Philippe Prunier, the police official in charge of protecting tourists, said thefts were down 17 percent this summer compared with the same period last year. Police made nearly 4,000 arrests.

He said carjackings outside the airport remain a concern, but thefts are down on public transit.

Security has been heightened at major tourist sites since extremist attacks in January, and Prunier said that combined with the new patrols has made a major difference.