Apparently Stealing Smartphones Is A Thing We Need To Worry About Again

Although you can never be too careful, there was a time where it felt like it was okay to be a bit relaxed about someone stealing your phone. After all, basically anyone has access to some kind of relatively smart phone if they really want one, even if it’s not the one with the latest bells and whistles. But in some U.S. cities, smartphone robberies are on the rise again.

Cops in San Francisco say smartphone theft is a big problem there, right in the heart of a thriving tech-obsessed city. Police say almost half of all of the robberies in the city this year are related to phones, with the crime often happening on busy transit lines, reports the Associated Press. Snatch and grab — we all know how that one works.

A city council candidate in Oakland says he was robbed at gunpoint just recently, with his iPhone as the target of the crime.

“I thought he was going to shoot me,” the man recalled, after he’d dropped his phone during the ordeal. “He kept saying, ‘Find the phone! Find the phone!'”

It’s not just San Francisco, of course: In New York City, more than 40% of all robberies involve cell phones, and in Los Angeles, cell phone thefts are more than 25% of the city’s robberies.

Part of the problem is that phones are everywhere, so they’re an easy target. And a lot of us are wandering around clueless while taking our electronic gadgets for  granted. Sure, they’re seemingly everywhere. But you shouldn’t totally let your guard down just because of that fact.

One good tip (coming from someone who’s had their phone stolen as well) is to make sure you’ve got your serial number written down somewhere safe. That way if it is grabbed, it can be reported and matched up with any phones that are recovered.

Also being aware of where you’re walking and your surroundings is not only a good idea to prevent theft, but also to prevent walking straight into someone you didn’t notice before because you were too busy playing Angry Birds.

Stolen iPhones And Other Smartphones Have Become A Nationwide Problem [Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.