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Keep your mobile phone safe from moped-riding thieves

  • New CCTV footage shows a phone snatch on Bishopsgate
  • Phone snatchers take advantage of people who often have their focus elsewhere while they walk around with their phones out
  • Last year, between December 2016 and February 2017, we received more than 100 reports of phone thefts

If you’ve got a new phone for Christmas and you're out in the city, keep it, and your other personal belongings, close to you at all times.

This CCTV issued on Thursday (28 December 2017) by the City of London Police serves as a stark reminder to all phone users that phone thieves riding mopeds and motorbikes operate across parts of the capital.

 

If you’re checking your location or replying to a message, your phone could be gone in the blink of an eye. Where possible, avoid putting your phone on display and making it easy for thieves to snatch.

 

Between 5 and 9 December 2017, 11 phone snatches were reported to City of London Police. Five of these took place on the same night (9 December).

 

Latest CCTV footage

 

The footage released today, filmed shortly before 11pm on December 12, shows a phone snatched from a pedestrian's hands on Bishopsgate. A second unsuccessful attempted snatch was made on Primrose Street. 

 

In the CCTV footage, a moped drives close to the curb on Bishopsgate and steals a phone form the victim’s hand. The victim gives chase but the moped speeds on down the street.

 

Last year, between December 2016 and February 2017, we received more than 100 reports of phone thefts – which amounts to thousands of pounds worth of stolen phones.

 

Phone snatchers are taking advantage of people who often have their focus elsewhere while they walk around with their phones out, giving offenders on mopeds or bicycles the opportunity to snatch phones – sometimes using force to knock the phone out of the victim’s hands or assaulting the victim to take it.

 

Detective Constable Hannah Knight from the City of London Police said:

“If you use your phone when you’re out in the street, be aware of what’s going on around you. We are working hard to identify and catch those responsible but urge you to take some simple steps to help prevent your phone being stolen while you’re out in the City.”

 

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim yourself:

• Don’t text while you’re walking – you will be less aware of what is happening around you.

• If you must use your phone in public, make it quick, to minimise the chance of you becoming distracted by the conversation and a thief spotting your phone.

• If you can, stand with your back against a wall when using your phone so nobody can come up behind you.

 

If you have any information about either of these offences, contact the City of London Police on 0207 601 2222 or on 101. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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