76-year old Man Missing
Chief Bratton Addresses Video Clip

Robberies of Personal Electronic Devices Rising

There has been a sharp rise in iPod and cell phone robberies in the Southland; we are urging citizens to become more aware when using their electronic devices in public.  Police statistics indicate that robberies of iPods and cell phones are up 34 percent this year, accounting for about 1,700 of the city’s 8,000 total robberies.  Some victims have reported having their iPods and cell phones stolen several times.  The electronic devices usually cost anywhere from $150 to $500. 

Those items are targeted because they're easy to conceal and carry.  Suspects rob people of these items and walk down the street undetected.  iPod, cell phones and portable GPS device thefts tend to rise during the holiday season.  Electronic devices are highly sought after by thieves because they are easy to sell.  Police statistics indicate that a rash of robberies of iPods were reported earlier this year near local area high schools and the University of Southern California campus.  The crime pattern reveals that thieves target campuses to commit these robberies due to large amounts of potential victims. 

In some areas of South Los Angeles, victims have reported groups of two to three suspects approaching a single individual.  Sometimes the victims are standing at bus stops or just getting out of school.  The suspects are either juveniles or young adults anywhere between the ages of 14 and 25. The suspects tend to commit the robberies around junior high or high schools, and are usually bullies or gang members who target people they can easily intimidate. 

Police and school administrators have urged students to leave electronic devices at home so that they are not easy prey for thieves.  Parents should encourage their children to leave these items at home.  Police have advised the public to conceal cell phones, iPods, and portable electronic devices systems in clothing so that the items are less noticeable.

These unsuspecting victims are often distracted by listening to music or talking on the phone and are not aware of their surroundings. This is an open invitation for thieves. Police suggest that students walk to and from school in groups and arrange for friends or relatives to escort them to the bus stop if possible.

         

Lt. Gregory Allen
Detective Gena Brooks
Southwest Area Detectives

Comments

It is fashionable and trendy to hold onto a mobile phone. I wonder how many school going kids would want to leave their mobile phones behind.

Chief Bratton,

I have a question. A day never goes by without hearing of robberies in which cellphone and other gadgets were stolen from a person. With today's technology, can we work on a program where once police are made aware of a robbery and a cellphone is stolen we can track and locate the robber? I am sure if the LAPD gets with every cellphone provider and aks their clients to sign a waiver that will give the police the right to track the cellphone after being stolen, you will be making plenty of arrests. It will be like LOJAK, the robber never know what hit them. There are plenty of excuses why it wont work..Privacy rights, cant track if the phone is off, bad reception, some are not GPS equipped so on....You can even pick and choose which ones you choose to track..Like if the crime does sound credible, several robberies in the area just occurred by the same described suspects, that way you don't have to chase down kids whos parents are just trying to locate them.. It can be made tamper proof. So if the city is serious in lowering crimes and make arrests of the repeat offenders in the city, you can make plenty of arrests which will put them away before they rob the 10 innocent persons. Assigning one liason officer to work with these companies will be off tremendously with the amout of arrest it will produce. It wont hurt trying it out.. I look forward in a response to this idea by the LAPD . Thank you for your time.

Frank,

Your idea certainly has merit and will be researched. Perhaps you have come up with a solution to this growning problem

Samantha/LT: This is already being done in high-profile crimes, i.e. kidnappings, commercial robberies, etc.

The problem lies with the cell phone carrier, not the Victim. The carriers create such a bureaucratic red-tape nightmare, that search warrant must be done in order to accomplish this task (even if the Victim consents to it).

Happy Cop,
Thank you for the information on Cell Phones, I'll pass all of the information on to someone to research.

This is really the kind of police department I want to work for.

How can this be?? The website says that crime is down??

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