According to a report from CTV News, there has been an increate of violent smartphones robberies over the past year in Vancouver.
Vancouver police have been warning people to be mindful of the location of their smartphones, after they saw a number of robberies committed at gunpoint. Between 2012 and 2014 Vancouver actually saw a decrease in smartphone robberies, however, the trend appears to be reversed this year. In a statement, Vancouver police Const. Brian Montague said:
“We’re seeing a rise. Numerous robberies that involve anything from intimidation to the use of physical force or weapons.”
Just within the past three months, the police have been notified of 40 smartphones robberies in the Vancouver area, which is an increase of about 30 percent over the same period last year. Montague says that the robberies ranged from snatch-and-grabs to incidents where people were threatened with a gun or knife. A number of victims were people trying to sell an iPhone 6s on Craigslist.
In a statement, Const. Ian MacDonald said:
“Once the suspects get a clean eyeshot of the phone, recognize it’s present, they just spray the victim, take the phone and they’re on their way.”
Most thieves target these high-end smartphone devices because of their high resale value. They normally are looking for new or factory reset devices that have no passcode lock.
Vancouver police are urging that any victim report their theft to law enforcement and their wireless providers. Police can then enter the device’s information into the International Mobile Equipment Identity blacklist, which makes the device completely useless.