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Hold on to your cell phones
Police report a rash of Payne-Phalen cell phone “snatch and grabs”
Officers at the Eastern District of the St. Paul Police Department say they have noticed a recent rash of cell phone thefts.
“Basically, they’re snatch and grabs through connivery,” Kevin Casper, Eastern District commander, said Wednesday morning, April 17.
Police say that juvenile males have been approaching pedestrians mostly in the daytime, and asking to borrow their mobile phones.
If the pedestrian gives it up, the boys bolt with the cell phone. If pedestrians don’t give over their phone, the young males grab the phone and run.
Casper said that one tactic the thieves use is to ask a victim for the time.
“Most people don’t have watches,” he said. Instead, they pull out their phones to check the time, after which the thieves nab the phones.
Casper added that many people carry expensive phones, such as iPhones or other “smartphones.” “There are a lot of folks that want those phones,” he said.
Police have identified both adult and juvenile victims of the snatch-and-grab thefts.
They report that the incidents have occurred mostly in the Payne/Maryland area.
Casper advised the public “to be very guarded” if asked about their cell phone.
The police recommend area residents keep their phones in their pockets if approached and call 911 if the person is behaving suspiciously.
Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at firstname.lastname@example.org