The following information is taken from a report published today Monday 2nd December 2013 by An Garda Síochána on its website here ! It makes for very interesting reading. Have you ever had your phone snatched? Did you recover it?

Over 12,000 mobile phones, the majority of which are smart phones, worth an estimated €5m have been stolen from people in the last year, according to latest figures from An Garda Síochána. This amount is up over 33% from the same time period in 2011.

An Garda Síochána highlighted the figures today (Monday, 2 December 2013) at the launch of its inaugural Crime Prevention Day of Action, which is promoting a range of measures that people can take to reduce the chances of their mobile/smart phone being stolen from them, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

“Mobile phone theft is on the rise as gangs target high-value smart phones. These are expensive items and people should take the same care of them as they would any item that costs up to €500 and more,” advised Sgt Alan Roughneen of the National Crime Prevention Unit.

“Smart phone owners need to be more vigilant, particularly when we are coming into a time of the year when they are more likely to be out socialising. All too often we see smart phones worth hundreds of euro being left out on tables in bars, nightclubs, café or restaurant tables while people chat and this makes it very easy for criminals to simply walk past and steal them. People should also avoid using their phones while walking on the street as it means you are distracted and won’t be able to react to prevent your device being taken from you in mid-sentence,” added Sgt Roughneen.

An Garda Síochána recommends people take the following steps to reduce the chances of their smart/mobile phones being stolen:

–  Register your mobile/smart phone with your Service Provider

–  Take note of your unique IMEI number for your mobile/smart phone and store it in a location other than your phone. If your phone is stolen, the IMEI number is used to disable your phone. The IMEI number for your phone is located on the back of your phone underneath the battery or by dialling *#06# on your keypad

–  Enable the PIN Security feature and keep your phone locked at all times

–  When out and about, keep your phone out of public view, be streetwise and always be aware of your surroundings

–  Never leave your phone behind in an unattended vehicle

–  Property mark your phone with unique letters or numbers

–  Avoid making calls or texting while crossing the road

–  If making or receiving a call in public, always do so with your back up against the wall or a shop window etc so that you can see around you and reduce the opportunity to be attacked from behind

–  If you have a smart phone, consider downloading a location finder App

–  If your phone is lost or stolen, immediately report it to An Garda Síochána and contact your Service Provider with your IMEI in order to have your number blocked

An Garda Síochána will be publicising these tips through and its Facebook and Twitter channels over the next week. An Garda Síochána is also taking action to reduce thefts of mobile phones. For example, under Operation Aughrim, which utilises intelligence to target specific areas where street crime is occurring in Dublin, more than 1,000 arrests have been made in the last year.



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