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Tickets stolen? Too bad

By AMY HERDY and KATHRYN WEXLER

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 29, 2001


As the fans circulated around Raymond James Stadium, so did the thieves.

By game time, police had made about 65 arrests, from gate-crashers to pickpockets and ticket scalpers, said Tampa police Maj. K.C. Newcomb.

People caught trying to sneak into the game were charged with grand theft, Newcomb said, while others were given trespass warnings and let go.

With tickets being sold -- illegally -- for as much as $5,000, scalper arrests were plentiful, Newcomb said.

Yet the crime that seemed to distress most fans was having their tickets plucked straight out of their pockets.

All afternoon, police filled out reports from pickpocket victims, who then took copies to NFL officials to get into the game. Most had little luck.

"The NFL has me running around in circles," said Chevon Jeffrey of Queens, N.Y., with her father to watch the game, only to have her ticket snatched.

Jeffrey reported the theft by 3:30 p.m., but by game time still couldn't get in.

-- AMY HERDY

Big Easy's mayor: No lap dance worries

Marc Morial, mayor of New Orleans, the site of Super Bowl XXXVI, was asked if he had picked up any pointers in Tampa.

"Traffic's a challenge," he said Saturday night at a party at the Wyndham Harbour Island Hotel, about the time all downtown streets were jammed. He said his city doesn't expect a problem with things like lap dance ordinances.

"I don't know what goes on in those nude clubs, but we haven't had those controversies in New Orleans.'

-- KATHRYN WEXLER

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