Surge in thefts of smartphones

Surge in thefts of smartphones

Opportunist criminals are targeting patrons of the city's clubs and bars stealing valuable smartphones.

Numerous reports were reported to local gardai in recent days of thefts of smartphones. The majority of thefts were from ladies handbags over the weekend.

“It is simple advice but often when people are out socialising they tend to leave a bag or a jacket on a table or chair. We are asking people to keep their valuables on their person at all times,” said a garda spokesman.

Gardai are highlighting the importance of crime prevention on the eve of St Patrick's Day. The focus of the campaign is on preventing thefts from persons and in particular avoiding thefts of mobile phones. This campaign coincides with the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Analysis shows that twice as many thefts occur between March 16 and 18 than on any other day in March.

 St. Patrick’s Day and the period around it experienced high levels of thefts and robbery in 2014 and 2015.

 Crime statistics show that two out of every five thefts and robberies occur between 10pm and 4am.

-  Almost 35% of thefts and robberies occur on a street/road location.

-  Almost 20% of thefts occur in licensed premises. However between 10pm

and 4am from Friday to Sunday this increases to 50% of thefts.

-  Overall, 10% of thefts and robberies occur in a shop, shopping centre, supermarket or store.

Mobile Phones

 Almost 60% of thefts and robberies involve the stealing of a mobile phone.

 Almost €3million worth of phones were reported stolen in since 2015.

Only one in three people who reported their mobile phone stolen had their

IMEI number recorded.

Crime prevention advice

Crime prevention officer, Sergeant Peter McConnon urged members of the public to keep a record of the IMEI number of their phone.

“I am asking that all owners of Smart Phones take a snap shot of their IMEI number and record it in a safe place. The IMEI number which is unique to the phone can be retrieved by dialling *#06#

All phone owners should also download a phone locator app,” he said.

Local statistics also reveal that handbag snatch and grab incidents are decreasing while mobile phone snatch and grab incidents are increasing.