MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Arguably the biggest game of this past football weekend was No. 2 LSU versus No. 4 Alabama.
More than 100,000 people were in Tuscaloosa. While most had their eyes on the field, some had their eyes on the fans’ wallets.
According to Millersville police, working in conjunction with the University of Alabama police department, a number of people were pickpocketed at the big game.
It all came together Sunday afternoon on Interstate 65 North when Officer Thomas Justice stopped a van for a license plate violation.
The occupants, driver Anthony Christian and passenger Sederick Johnson, reportedly said they were returning home to Chicago from Tuscaloosa.
Police told News 2 Christian didn’t have a license, only a health insurance card, and Johnson was carrying $1,000 in cash and said he’d never been arrested before.
However, Johnson’s arrest record is extensive, including arrests for pickpocketing and arrests associated to organized crime dating back as far as 1988.
A third passenger the van, identified as 24-year-old Sara Bricco, is accused of carrying multiple IDs that were stolen from Alabama.
Authorities say a search of the fan revealed more IDs, credit cards, social security cards and prepaid gift cards with thousands of dollars on them.
Once the trio was read their rights, Bricco allegedly told police they were at the LSU-Alabama game pickpocketing people.
When the men were asked, they allegedly denied it.
Officer: Are you the ringleader? Are you the man?
Johnson: I ain’t the ring leader of nothing.
Officer: You the one out pickpocketing at the stadium right?
Officer: Whose pickpocketing?
Johnson: Nobody’s pickpocketing.
Officer: How did you get all those IDs then?
Johnson: I don’t know how she got those IDs. I didn’t know she had no IDs.
According to reports out of Tuscaloosa, several victims have reported losing unique items at the game. They have since been recovered inside the van, police said.
Detectives are also talking with police in Chicago after luggage tickets from O’Hare International Airport were found.
Investigators told News 2 there’s also reason to believe the group was allegedly working in Mississippi as well.
The Millersville police chief says it’s a reminder to everyone to carry their wallets and important documents in a front pocket or to lock valuables in your car’s trunk.
The University of Alabama released the following statement about the incident:
UAPD investigators have been in touch with Millersville Police regarding the recovery of stolen property. While the investigation is still preliminary, it does appear that certain property recovered from the traffic stop conducted by Millersville Police on I-65 does match property that was reported stolen by fans attending Saturday night’s game at Bryant-Denny stadium. UAPD and MPD will continue to work together on this investigation.