Beware of this phone-snatching trend

The Sandton police have provided some data tips to protect yourself should your phone be stolen.

A new crime trend has emerged after a woman was recently robbed of her cellphone when a criminal stopped next to her and snatched it, Sandton Chronicle reports.

This according to Captain Granville Meyer, spokesperson for the Sandton Police Station, who said these types of thefts and robberies are occurring every day in Sandton. “We are striving to find innovative ways to combat this growing crime.”

READ MORE: Cellphone snatcher sentenced to four years behind bars

Meyer said this crime is called ‘apple picking’ – a slang word for iPhone thefts or robberies – and it is a crime that is committed more regularly.

“Criminals snatch smartphones on streets and inside restaurants, then resell them on the Internet, on street corners and inside local convenience stores.

“The rise in smartphone thefts correlates with an increase in ownership and availability on the market.”

Meyer said assaults often occur in conjunction with the robbery. “Devices are being taken at knifepoint or gunpoint.”

Meyer provided some tips for the public:

  • Enable auto lock
  • Have a mobile tracking app installed
  • Erase your personal data remotely
  • Lock sensitive applications
  • Back up your smartphone data.

Details: 011 722 4200.

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