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Pickpockets have always been most prevalent at locations that attract a high volume of tourists such as the Louvre. However, the pickpocketing problem at the French museum has gotten so severe that 200 members of the institution’s staff staged a walkout earlier this week in protest of the pickpocket gangs that target visitors. The museum reopened to the public on Thursday, April 11, 2013 with a squad of approximately 20 uniformed police officers patrolling the grounds.

The police officers were recruited in response to staff concerns. Many Louvre employees have endured violent altercations with pickpockets including being spat at, insulted, and hit. Many of the criminals return to the museum repeatedly after being barred from the premises. Museum officials hope that a strong police presence will deter pickpockets from setting up shop at the Louvre, which sees about 10 million visitors each year.

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