Study: Philly #1 In Smartphone Thefts; SEPTA Police Crack Down - Fox 2 News Headlines

Study: Philly #1 In Smartphone Thefts; SEPTA Police Crack Down

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

Melissa Clearmont knows what it would be like to have her smartphone stolen.

"A big pain. A big, big, big one," she told FOX 29. She's also the first to tell you that she's a prime target.

"I'm the one that always walks around with my phone in my hand like you just caught me. I'm always looking down reading an email or something. It's kind of scary to know," she said.

A new study says Philadelphia ranks number one nationwide in smart phone thefts and losses. The thieves can hit anywhere in the city. SEPTA says one hot spot for smart phone thefts is the Church Street station on the Market Frankford El.

"It's a vicious crime, but it shouldn't be, said SEPTA rider Anthony Bell, as he waited for a train on Thursday.

"We're throwing a lot at the problem," says SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel. "You commit a theft at SEPTA, we're gonna make you famous."

Septa launched a crack-down on smartphone thefts using a study that pinpoints hot spots, along with 12,000 SEPTA surveillance cameras and tactical police teams. But no one's claiming victory just yet.

"I'm actually surprised we're worse than other cities because right now, at least for SEPTA,  we're declining. Now I'm not calling that a victory because it's a fluctuating number," Nestel said.

Nestel suggests that smartphone owners download apps like "find my iPhone" so police can track their phones if stolen. His other advice, look up when your bus or train is slowing down.

"Poke that head up, out of the turtle shell for a second, and take a look around," he explained. "That's the time it happens."

SEPTA riders like Anthony Bell say that's some advice they'll gladly take.

"I watch my surroundings and I do what I gotta do to protect myself," he said.  

Clearmont said,"I don't want to pay $200 to replace my phone."

Smartphone thefts are down single digits on SEPTA. Philadelphia police don't track those numbers, but they are doing several things to combat the theft and resale of smartphones.

Finally, smartphone companies are reportedly working on a way to permanently shut a stolen or lost phone off, so it can't be re-sold.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Kent State University blasts red-stained sweatshirt sold by Urban Outfitters

    Kent State University blasts red-stained sweatshirt sold by Urban Outfitters

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:28 AM EDT2014-09-16 05:28:05 GMT
    A sweatshirt being sold by Urban Outfitters featuring fake blood stains and tattered edges with the logo of Kent State University, where four students were killed in a 1970 incident that shocked America, is “beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life,” university officials said.
    A sweatshirt being sold by Urban Outfitters featuring fake blood stains and tattered edges with the logo of Kent State University, where four students were killed in a 1970 incident that shocked America, is “beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life,” university officials said.
  • Police: 13-Year-Old Shot In Hunting Park

    Police: 13-Year-Old Shot In Hunting Park

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:28 AM EDT2014-09-16 04:28:27 GMT
    Police say a 13-year-old was shot in the city's Hunting Park section by Old York Road and Erie Ave on Monday night.
    Police say a 13-year-old was shot in the city's Hunting Park section by Old York Road and Erie Ave on Monday night.
  • Authorities Continue To Investigate State Police Barracks Shooting

    Authorities Continue To Investigate State Police Barracks Shooting

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:24:00 GMT

    State police say one trooper is dead and another is injured after a shooting at a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

    State police say one trooper is dead and another is injured after a shooting at a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices