CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Nearly everyone has some form of portable technology. It's evident at the campus of University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where most students have laptops, cellphones, tablets and media players.
"I just kind of listen to music on the way to my car," said junior business major T.J. Tolbert.
Electronics are what UNCC police said three suspects targeted when they robbed two students early Sunday morning.
Police Chief Jeff Baker said the students were walking by East Deck 3 on their way to their off-campus housing when they were approached by three men wearing hoodies.
The victims told police the suspects flashed what they thought was a gun and made off with a cellphone and two laptops.
Baker said the suspects were not students.
"People know college students - they are going to have laptops, they are going to have phones with them. Now anyone is a target," senior Amber Williams said.
Police said many students are unknowingly making themselves targets by carrying their phones and tablets out in plain sight
Also, on top of being a distraction, Baker said the headphones dozens of students wear while walking around are also a clear sign to a would-be thief that they are carrying electronics.
"It's enjoyable but that's unfortunately something that's not real safe to do," the chief said, especially late at night.
Williams said she doesn't carry any items in the open any time of day.
"I think it's more important to stop it beforehand by paying attention and being alert," she said.
Baker is also using social media to encourage students to register their devices with the company they bought them from. He also said they should download apps designed to help locate devices if they are misplaced or stolen.