Outsmarting Phone Thieves

Smartphone thefts have increased sharply in New York City in recently years due to their popularity around the city, the country, and the world.

Smartphones are in high demand -- whether new or old -- and the high monetary return makes them especially appealing to thieves.

The Crime Prevention Section would like to give you detailed steps you can take to outsmart a Smartphone thief:

When using your Smartphone in public:

  • Stay in a constant state of readiness; stay alert to lurking predators and unexpected dangers.
  • Avoid leaving your phone on the table at restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.
  • Avoid leaving your phone in an open handbag; and never hang the bag over the back of a chair when out at a store or cafe.
  • Do not call attention to yourself by walking with your Smartphone in hand when not in use.
  • When traveling by bus or train remain alert and remember that most thefts on public transit occur near bus and train doors.

Register and lock it up:

  • Register your Smartphone with tracking apps. (Example: iPhone users - "Find My iPhone," Android users - "Where's My Droid," and "Look Out"). Antitheft apps allow you to remotely lock your phone, wipe it clean of sensitive information and even remotely set off a high-pitched phone alarm.
  • Register your Smartphone with the NYPD Operation ID program at your local Police Precinct. Ask for the Precinct, Crime Prevention Officer.
  • Password protect your Smartphone.

Know your numbers:

Smartphone model number, serial number and International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) number. Save where you can easily retrieve them.

  • F.C.C. maintains a full list of carrier contacts for reporting stolen phones:
  • AT&T customers call 1-800-331-0500;
  • Verizon, call 1-800-922-0204;
  • Sprint, call 1-888-211-4727; and
  • T-Mobile, call 1-800-937-8997.

    Brought to you in part by the York College Public Safety Department.