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SEPTA Warns Subway Riders About Increase In Smart Phone Thefts

By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA is reminding subway riders to be smart about smartphones. Transit officials say there is a dramatic increase of thieves snatching the phones right out of people’s hands.

It’s an all too often occurrence, someone holding a smartphone while standing near an exit on an El or subway train, and as the doors open, someone snatches that phone and disappears.

The number of such thefts nearly doubled last year, with over 300, and SEPTA spokeswoman Gerri Williams says they’re trying to cut down that number by reminding people to be aware of their surroundings.

“If you’re sitting in your chair and the train is moving along the track, no one is going to steal then, there’s nowhere to run,” says Williams. “But as soon as the doors open, that’s the opportune time for them to snatch it.”

Williams says holding a phone out when the doors open is pretty much the same as holding a handful of cash.

“You wouldn’t stand in the doorway of a subway with $400 in your hand,” she says. “But that’s what you’re doing when you have your cell phone out in such a vulnerable situation.”

She adds this isn’t unique to Philadelphia. Transit systems across the country are seeing a similar spike.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Cynthia Petillo says:

    Great tip for travelers!

  2. Linda D Bryant says:

    EVERYONE IS STANDING AROUND EITHER ON THE STREET, ON THE BUSES, ETC., TALKING ON THE DAMN PHONES LIKE THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT.

    WHEN SOMEONE CALLS ME ON MY CELL, UNLESS IT IS IMPORTANT, I CUT IT SHORT AND TELL THEM THAT I WILL RETURN THEIR CALL WHEN I GET HOME.

    IF YOU ARE STANDING AROUND WITH AN EXPENSIVE PHONE –YOU DESERVE WHAT YOU GET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thomas says:

      likes this post

  3. Samuel A. Maffei says:

    Ed parities like it’s “1999”.

  4. Ed says:

    My phone is so bare-bones nobody would want to steal it. You can’t even send text messages with it. it makes and receives calls, nothing else.

    1. Dizzledorf says:

      Ed also does not use these new-fangled “trains” and “buses” to travel. He rides his horse. It’s so bare-bones, it’s fueled by oats, and nothing else.

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