Snatch a cell? Then occupy a cell

Sidewalk smart-phone thefts are outrageous, antisocial invasions of privacy

Not only do you not bring a knife to a gun fight – but sometimes you bring a bazooka.

 

That should be the case with the apparently fashionable crime of stealing smart phones from pedestrians on city sidewalks.

Authorities say it’s the crime du jour in big cities. The smarmy little sociopaths among us have figured out that pedestrians talking on expensive and fancy cell phones are so distracted that they’re easy prey for a snatch-and-run.

“It’s a crime wave happening around the country and it’s hitting the Twin Cities hard,” says a news report out of Minneapolis-St. Paul. “Minneapolis Police are urging smart phone owners to take precautions. They say there were more than two dozen cases in a small area of downtown Minneapolis in one month.”

Officials urge users to take precautions.

“First, make sure your smart phone has a lock or passcode set on it,” the article suggests. “It won’t keep your phone from being stolen, but it will protect personal information. On smart phones, you can download apps called ‘Find My iPhone’ which can track where a phone is. And make sure you or your provider have a record of your phone’s serial number.”

Meanwhile, let’s also hammer the antisocial creeps who do it. Long prison terms should only be the start. Pass some target-specific legislation. Set some early examples. Get the word to the street that the crime just isn’t worth the punishment. We’ve got to nip new assaults like this in the bud.

It may seem a petty crime in the scheme of things – and compared to violent crimes, of course it is. But some otherwise minor offenses are so brazen and so destructive to a civil society that they cannot be allowed, from the get-go.

If we can’t walk down the street without being attacked, then don’t even bother calling 9-1-1 on your smart phone. It’s already over.

 

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