Phone Thefts on the Rise Across the U.S.

Oct 24, 2012 17:04:54Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Phone Thefts on the Rise Across the U.S.

Smart phones are a hot commodity these days, and many of the most sought-after brands come with a high price tag. Their value may explain why the number of cell phone thefts happening nationwide is increasing, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The news source reports that around half of all robberies in the San Francisco area this year involved cell phones, with most of them taking place on public transit. In Los Angeles, cell phone crimes are up 27 percent. Users may think that all they need to do to protect their mobile identity is hold on tight to their device when out in public and avoid sketchy parts of town, but some of the thefts police describe are incredibly brazen. For instance, one woman had her cell phone snatched out of her hand while she was still talking. Another individual had a smart phone nabbed right out of their hands by the person sitting behind them on the bus, who then disappeared out the rear door.

"This is your modern-day purse snatching," San Francisco Police Captain Joe Garrity told the news source. "A lot of younger folks seem to put their entire lives on these things that don't come cheap."

He's right about that - many people store personal information on their mobile devices, which means when stolen, individuals' cell phone privacy is at risk. Not to mention, it's also quite costly to replace a phone with a new device.

On the other coast, in New York City, things aren't much better. About 40 percent of all robberies in the Big Apple have to do with cell phones. Police in New York urged customers who bought the recently released iPhone 5 to register the serial number with the department in case of theft. Lawmakers are also working to create legislation that would make reselling stolen cell phones more difficult or less profitable.

There are other ways individuals can enhance their mobile security. Refraining from using the device openly in public is a good start, advises CNET, which reminds users to never leave any mobile device unattended. If possible, leave expensive tablets, computers and cell phones at home when traveling or going away for short periods of time.

The news source also mentions that there are a number of applications you can install on your mobile device that will help you track it down if it's been lost or stolen.