Press Contact: Mary Kusmiss, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-5780
COMMUNITY CRIME PREVENTION ALERT - ROBBERY SUSPECTS FOCUS ON SMARTPHONES
Berkeley, California (Monday, July 18, 2011) - As was the trend when walkmans and CD players, then MP3 players and iPods became popular in the City of Berkeley community, crime suspects are now focusing increased attention on smartphones, especially during street robberies, the iPhone emerging as the most popular. This crime trend is not unique to Berkeley, as most metropolitian areas throughout the U.S. have seen an uptrend in the numbers of smartphone and iPhones stolen. They are taken during robberies, auto burglaries, burglaries, theft and when left unattended.
The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) would like to remind and encourage community members to employ a few crime prevention measures, simple lifestyle changes, that can help reduce your risk as well as discourage those who commit these crimes.
Be alert to your surroundings and people around you.
Do not lend your phone to anyone you do not know or take it out of your purse, pocket or bag to give someone the time, if asked.
Whenever feasible, walk, jog or travel with a friend or friends.
Walk confidently and at a steady pace.
Don’t talk on cell phones or listen to iPods when alone, as they significantly limit awareness.
Be aware of locations and situations, which make you more vulnerable to crime such as alleys, doorways, parking lots and stairwells.
Call BPD to report suspicious persons or activity.
If you are the victim of a robbery, immediately call the police. An immediate report, including the suspect description, direction of flight, any associated vehicles and vehicle license plate # gives responding officers the best possible chance of locating the suspect, and ultimately making a successful case.
BPD is urging anyone who may know anything about this type of crime to call the BPD Investigations Division – Robbery Detail at (510) 981-5742 or the 24 hour BPD Non Emergency number of (510) 981-5900. If a community member wishes to remain anonymous, he/she is encouraged to call the Bay Area Crimes Stoppers (BACS) at (800)-222-TIPS (8477). All calls to BACS are completely confidential. Any information may be critical to solving this type of crime. Sometimes the smallest or seemingly insignificant detail can be the key to arresting the suspect or suspects in any crime.
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