• Police: Thieves targeting smartphones on the rise

    By: Natalie Pasquarella


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are warning that smartphone thefts are up significantly this year across Charlotte.

    Police said Thursday at a news conference they want people to be more aware when it comes to their smartphones.

    Smartphones are in high demand and are valuable to thieves.

    There were 2,332 mobile phones reported stolen between Jan. 1, 2012 to Oct. 8, 2012.

    During the same time this year, 2,888 phones were reported stolen, according to police.

    There were 315 robberies of phones between Jan. 1, 2012 and Oct. 8, 2012.

    During the same time this year, there were 420 robberies of phones, according to police.

    Phones have personal information, contacts, financial data, photos and thieves can wipe it and access it, police said.

    They sell them on the street, through the Internet and at legitimate businesses after they've been wiped.

    People often leave phones, that can go for $200, unattended like at restaurants and bars.

    Police recommend keeping the smartphone box and the product number specific to the device, download security apps like "Find My iPhone" and use passwords.

    Call police as soon as the phone is stolen because police said the quicker they make that call, the quicker they have the chance to getting it back.

    If the device was stolen, and police do not know the number specific to this device, there's no way they can track it and it gets wiped.

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