NARRATIVE: On 02/05/10 at approximately 1955 hrs., the victim was walking home on 18th St. near Clover Street in the Mission District listening to music on her iPhone. S#1 and S#2 approached from behind. S#1 put a silver and black revolver to her head and said, “Shut up! Just give it to me bitch.” S#1 then grabbed the iPhone from the victim and both S#1 and S#2 fled on foot, eastbound on 18th Street. The victim did not get a good look at S#2.
SUSPECT #1: 8M, 20-25 yrs., 5’8″, 175Ibs.
LSW: Black hoodie, black pants.
Sounds pretty scary but with the theft of cell phones now one of the most reported crimes it’s become a very common scenario. When the iPhone 5 went on sale last month, New York City police encouraged buyers to register their phone’s serial numbers with the department. Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco are cell phone-related and most occur on the bustling transit lines.
The explosion of cell phone thefts is costing consumers millions of dollars and is causing law enforcement agencies and wireless carriers to scramble for solutions. In April, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that the major U.S. cell phone carriers and the Federal Communications Commission have agreed to set up a national database to track reported stolen phones. =It would probably kill cell phone robberies overnight if a stolen phone could be permanently locked by a carrier following a reported theft. This initiative is similar to a successful decade-old strategy in Australia.
Schumer also introduced a bill called the Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act, which proposes a five-year prison sentence for tampering with the ID numbers of a stolen cell phone. The bill is supported by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), a Washington, D.C. advocacy group.
So why include him as part of the problem? If people were more careful about buying smart phones off the Internet for unbelievable deals thieves would stop stealing them. I’ve bought them before using online selling web sites but I always went to a house or apartment to buy it. If you do the same and they insist on meeting you in a parking lot there’s a good reason for it. That phone is probably stolen and for all you know it could have a tracking device installed and you’ll be the one who ends up in handcuffs.
How to keep safe? The SFP Department has a decent information guide: San Francisco Police Public Safety Advisory