A TAMWORTH woman was refused bail after she was caught allegedly trying to steal from an off-duty police officer in the city's CBD at the weekend.
Senior police say the woman, in her 20s, approached a visiting off-duty police officer and tried to steal her wallet from her jeans pocket.
The officer was quick to swing into action and the woman was arrested, with the assistance of patrolling police nearby.
A search by police found a bag containing goods that they will allege were stolen. Inspector Jeff Budd, who is heading up the festival operation, told The Leader the off-duty officer was working in the city as part of undercover police activity for the festival.
"This pickpocket has picked the wrong pocket," Inspector Budd said.
He said the woman was charged with theft-related offences and was refused bail by police to appear in court at a later date.
"Undercover operatives are something we identified three years ago, to support our general-duties police and improve the festival experience for everyone. This was great work by our visiting police," he said.
Inspector Budd said Saturday afternoon's incident was one of two significant arrests at the weekend, with a former local man arrested for drug offences on Saturday night.
Police allegedly found 6.4 grams of cocaine, five ecstasy tablets and 5.2g of cannabis, as well as a large amount of cash, when he was stopped and searched.
The man, 39, of Paddington in Sydney, was refused bail by police.
He appeared in Tamworth Bail Court yesterday morning and was given conditional bail to appear in Tamworth Local Court this morning.
He was charged with two offences of supply prohibited drug, one charge of possess prohibited drug and one charge of dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Inspector Budd said the festival operation, called Operation Tungsten, had so far been successful, with police maintaining a strong presence in and around the CBD while meeting and greeting festivalgoers.
"People can expect this type of presence to continue," he said.
"Our visiting police are having a cracking time: they're so impressed with the friendliness of people in town.
"Some of them came up from metro commands and have said it is unbelievable."
However, what was disappointing, he said, was that the majority of those arrested were locals, with 17 in the cells of the Tamworth Police Station on Friday night.
The majority of them were arrested for alcohol-related offences and outstanding warrants.