Two Sunderland students were shocked to realise they were part of a string of bag thefts happening around the city.
Wednesday is a well-known student night in Sunderland, which sees hundreds of students flock into the city centre for cheap drinks and fancy dress nights.
One night ended differently for two students who both had their phones stolen during the course of the night.
Lauren Lockhead, 20, was furious to realise she had been the victim of theft.
She said: “I have been on so many nights out in Sunderland and nothing like this has ever happened to me before. When I found out I wasn’t the only person to have been a victim that night I realised it must have been a bigger scam.
“As a university student you expect your things to be safe on a night out because it is mainly students who are out but from now on I am definitely going to be more careful with my things!”
Physiology student, Cat Mills also had her phone stolen on the same night.
She said: “I felt panicked and I was really upset about it. Now it’s happened I’m just really angry that a person could do that!”
When asked what students should be doing to prevent theft, Mick Hall of Sunderland City Neighbourhood Watch has advised people to keep valuable items either safe or at home.
He said: “By making sure items such as mobile phones and purses are in a safe place, it makes it harder for the thieves – the majority of these are opportunists so it is important to be vigilant.”