Pokemon players preyed on

An increasing rate of phone theft has been seen throughout the CBD, says Sen-Sgt Adam Tanner.

Sen-Sgt Tanner from the Melbourne East Police Station as well as Leading Sen Constable Glenn McFarlane said thieves were becoming more confident in their approach to stealing phones, taking them straight out of victim’s hands.

Sen Constable McFarlane especially warned players of the Pokemon Go app, as the game urges players to walk through areas whilst staring at their phone screen, unaware of their surroundings.

“They see the light shine on your face as you’re reading a text or walking around playing Pokemon Go and that is an indicator to them that you are not paying total attention,” began Sen Constable McFarlane.

“When they snatch it, it’s already unlocked so they don’t need your pass code to gain entry. Then they reset your factory settings and it’s basically a brand new phone.”

Another significant issue raised by Sen-Sgt Tanner was theft from cars. According to Sen-Sgt Tanner, items that may seem of little value to drivers are enough to cause a thief to break in.

“It’s the little things like charger cables or aux cords too,” he said.

Again, particularly within the CBD, police have seen a spike in bike theft.

He urged cyclists to buy a decent lock.

“Bikes need to be secured appropriately and the comment I’ll make here is: what you spend on a good quality lock is what will save you a lot of problems within the city,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter if the bike is particularly valuable or not. If they’re not secured appropriately or with a very thin, wire cable, they’re an easy target.”

Sen-Sgt Tanner encouraged cyclists to use D-locks or something of a similar design, and asked them not to secure their bike to anything other than the racks provided.

Ultimately, police are urging residents and visitors alike to be attentive and alert in securing their personal property.

“It’s about people being vigilant, people being aware of their surroundings, making sure they’re not leaving anything unattended and that they’re mindful of their valuables.”

Sen-Sgt Tanner extended a hand to the local community and supported the idea of open communication.

“I always encourage residents or people that want to pass on information about whatever it may be regarding criminal activity to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” he said.

“If you need immediate police assistance, ring 000. It’s important that we have an understanding from the community about what’s happening so that we can focus on that and address it as soon as we can.”

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