Police & Fire

iPhones, Property Theft Drive Crime in 70th Precinct, Says Inspector Rodriguez

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Property drives crime in the 70th Precinct, said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez at last week’s 70th Precinct Community Council meeting. Most significantly, robberies targeting iPhones, Android phones and other mobile devices are becoming increasingly common, he said, but are preventable.

“Criminals often confront people who are distracted,” reads one of many flyers the precinct produced at the event to counter holiday crime. Inspector Rodriguez described incidents in which distracted commuters were texting on subway platforms, train seats and sidewalks, unaware of their surroundings before the thief simply grabbed their device and ran away.

“Most of the time these people get robbed, they’re texting something unimportant,” said Rodriguz. “If you have to text, put your back against a wall, look around you and then get it the text out there.”

Another flyer described a number of crimes affecting students in the area:

A series of robberies involving cellular telephones have been occurring outside of the school. The most common places of occurrences are the sidewalks and/or bus stops where students usually congregate. In most cases, victims are either talking on the phone or had it exposed in plain view when they are robbed.

Please talk with your children and make sure they are aware of their surroundings when using their cellular phones in public. Please explain to them to secure their phones in such a way that it is not easily visible to strangers. We don’t want them to be easy targets for criminals!

If you have any information about these robberies, please contact the 70th Precinct at 718-851-5511.

Robberies are up about 5% on the year according to the 70th Precinct’s latest CompStat numbers.

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