Hartford Police issued a warning for the public about crooks targeting teens who have iPhones.
Authorities told NBC Connecticut thefts had gone up significantly in the last few months, and they had investigated dozens of cases.
“All of the sudden this guy with a black hoodie on just came up,” said Dominic Bonitto. He said he recently watched that guy steal his friend’s phone on a city bus. They were on the way to school downtown. “He just snatched his phone and ran,” he explained.
Hartford Police said in the last few weeks, crooks started to target teens before and after school on the streets, even at bus stops. In many cases, police said victims had been talking on the phone or texting, and were caught off guard.
“They're having them out they're getting ripped out of their hands sometimes by surprise sometimes by force,” Lt. Brian Foley explained.
Hartford Police just sent a warning to the schools, to warn students about the crimes and to be aware. “Try to get everyone to pay attention when they're walking with their iPhones or iPads,” said Lt. Foley.
Police said adults had been recently victimized in Hartford as well. There were dozens of cases in recent months.
In some instances, the victims wore earphones and kept the phones in their pockets. “Wearing those headphones lets people know you have an electronic device on you,” Lt. Foley added.
Police also warned the major employers about the crimes of opportunity, to make sure cell phone users weren’t robbed. They advised users to turn on the GPS tracker, so if it was stolen, investigators could possibly track it down.