Metro Transit Police are warning bus and train riders to be aware of their surroundings after a spike in snatch and go robberies. News4's Darcy Spencer reports on how criminals are targeting smartphones and tablets.
Metro Transit Police are reporting a spike in the number of thefts of smart phones and other portable electronic devices.
Police recorded 40 electronic device thefts in the two-week period ending Aug. 7, or a 48 percent increase over the previous two-week period.
Police Chief Ron Pavlik says most of the thefts occur on Metro's rail system and take place quickly while the victim isn't paying attention.
He said at a news conference Thursday that passengers should keep their devices out of sight, or at least hold their phones with both hands and be aware of their surroundings while using them.
Pavlik said 85 percent of victims are women, and police have had success in recovering some of the stolen devices, but that riders need to do their part as well.
Metro Police released the following surveillance image of three suspects wanted in connection with a cell phone theft Aug. 8 just after 10:30 p.m. at the Waterfront station.