From the Charlotte Observer By Cleve R. Wootson Jr., October 24, 2013
Thieves in Charlotte are increasingly targeting smart phones — snatching unattended phones from bar tables or cars and even robbing people of the devices, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said on Thursday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say cell phone thefts have jumped nearly 24 percent through the first 10 months of 2013 when compared to the same time period last year. Robberies in which cell phones were taken jumped more than 33 percent.
“People should think of their cell phone as currency in their hands, because that’s the way thieves think of it,” said CMPD Maj. Jeff Estes, who made the announcement about the uptick. They can take a new model, current edition cell phone and steal it and turn it over into cash for hundreds of dollars in a matter of minutes.”
Estes recommended that cell phone owners download apps that help them locate lost or stolen phones and also record a phone’s serial number and other identifying information so officers can trace it once it’s been stolen.