Sep 21, 2012 / 3:06 pm
This is happening in the lowermainland, but it never hurts to be on guard.
Distraction techniques seem to be where it’s at as far as stealing cell phones in Richmond. In previous thefts suspects were tricking people by asking them for the time. When victims pulled out their cell phone to check the time, the suspect grabbed the phone & headed for the hills. Suspects are still managing to trick people into handing over their phones but now the approach is a bit different.
“This past week in Richmond there have been four incidents where a different distraction technique has been used to steal cell phones,” explained Cpl. Sherrdean Turley, Media Relations Officer for Richmond RCMP. “Suspects are now tricking people into believing they have an emergency & need to make a phone call. People are handing over their phones because they want to help but they’re only becoming victims.”
On September 16th around 6:30 p.m. in the 6400 block of Buswell Street two males approached two females & asked to borrow their iPhone. The males appeared to be in a panic so the victim dialed a number for the males & handed over the phone. The males laughed and took off running, phone in hand.
Two similar incidents occurred on September 17. In both incidents a female victim was approached by a male suspect and iPhones were stolen.
The fourth incident occurred on September 18th around 2 p.m. Two females were approached by two males and a female asking to borrow their phone which was consequently handed over. A brief physical altercation ensued, the suspects fled with the phone and no one was injured. A 15 year old male residing in Richmond was arrested moments later and taken into custody. He was later released with a court date of November 13, 2012. All four incidents are still under investigation.
RCMP would like to recommend that people not hand over their cell phones if they find themselves in a similar situation. Do not admit to carrying a cell phone if you have it tucked away and simply make your way into a neighboring business where you can use their phone to call police.
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