DETROIT (WXYZ) - The uniformed police presence was impossible to miss.
These Detroit police officers stopped workers who were coming and going during the lunch hour in Campus Martius to deliver an important message.
“What we want people to know is, if you’re walking around, kind of mesmerized by your smartphone, paying attention to it to the exclusion of everything else, then you set yourself up as a very easy target for this thing to be snatched right out of your hand,” said Inspector Nick Kyriacou of the Detroit Police.
Enjoying his music—while catching up on the news—this unsuspecting would-be victim—was relieved to find it was an officer grabbing his phone from behind him to make her point.
“They’re expensive, they’re easy to transfer and obviously easy to grab when they’re sitting out in the open and not in your pocket. So yeah, I can understand that,” smartphone owner Jeff Myers said.
Police are urging everyone to be extra cautious when using smartphones in public. Always be aware of your surroundings before using your phone to call or text.
Police urge iPhone owners to register for Apple’s free built-in GPS tracking app. It can help in the phone’s recovery.
If stolen, police say don’t try to recover the phone or iPad yourself - call Detroit Police immediately.
“We want to make sure that people know that it’s a bad idea to walk around holding the equivalent of a couple hundred dollars in your hand in plain sight for their own safety and to try to get a handle on this problem,” Insp. Kyriacou said.
Agencies from across the country are reporting an increase in this type of crime. Detroit Police tell us they have made several arrests and successfully recovered a number of phones and iPads.
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