Police Observe Increase in Cell Phone Robberies, Provide Safety Tips

Posted on  11/15/2013 4:24 pm

The Wilmington Police Department has observed an increase in robberies driven by thieves targeting cell phones. This increase mirrors a national trend known as “Apple Picking” involving the thefts of cell phones. Over the past 30 days there have been 10  reported incidents of this type of robbery in the City of Wilmington. These incidents are not confined to a single geographic area and are not unique to a particular age group or gender. Many of these incidents share a common theme of distracted cell phone users having cell phones snatched from their hands.

The Wilmington Police Department reminds the public that there are simple actions people can take to proactively protect themselves.

  1. Treat your cell phone like you treat cash and keep it hidden from public view.
  2. Do not text and walk at the same time.
  3. At night walk in well-lit areas and in pairs if possible.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings, keep your head up and constantly scan your surroundings.
  5. If listening to music, use only one ear bud.
  6. Do not store your phone in your rear pants pocket.
  7. If using an Apple iPhone, download the new iOS 7 operating system which now includes a security feature called “Activation Lock” which prevents criminals from turning off the “Find My iPhone” application.
  8. Record your cell phone’s serial number to provide to police in the event it is stolen.