Snatch a cell? Then occupy a cell

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

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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.

Comments (15) Add comment
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TParty
6003
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TParty 02/05/12 - 02:13 am
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Yep, it's brazen and

Yep, it's brazen and destructive. I wish other citizens near by who see things like this do something- instead of watching.

shrimp for breakfast
5460
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shrimp for breakfast 02/05/12 - 02:17 am
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I will never understand how

I will never understand how some people care nothing for their fellow man or their property. Someone needs to teach these thives we live in a society.

desertcat6
1140
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desertcat6 02/05/12 - 03:59 am
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0
Yes, long prison terms for

Yes, long prison terms for smart cell phone theives! Seriously? Its a crime like many others - pickpocket, purse snatcher, etc... Value, violence, weapons, record, and demeanor all play a role in the length of the sentence within the framework of set parameters.

Some other ways to protect yourself - phone insurance, bluetooth device, a leash, backing up smart phone data, and not talking and walking with the phone out.

Potential marketing ideas - lethal/non-lethal self-destruct apps, integrated pistol/smart phone in either stun or traditional models, theif proximity app, and the phone come home body harness (anchoring devices sold seperately).

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 02/05/12 - 04:31 am
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Personally, I think cell

Personally, I think cell phones are one of the most obnoxious inventions ever made. There's nothing quite like getting together with friends, only to have one of them with their nose stuck over his/her phone tye entire night. Don't have one, refuse to get one.

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 02/05/12 - 08:37 am
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Oh my gosh Techfan, I cannot

Oh my gosh Techfan, I cannot believe this! You and I agree! I, too, refuse to get one. I need to go outside and get some fresh air, I'm feeling a little dizzy. Can you believe this(our thoughts on cellphones)?

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 02/05/12 - 08:45 am
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To desert cat, today-your

To desert cat, today-your cellphone, tomorrow-your car, next week-home invasion, next month-armed robbery, next year-murder. It's a known fact that misdemeanors lead to felonies, so whatever it takes to try and stop a potential criminal, I say, "go for it"!

Chad
57
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Chad 02/05/12 - 08:54 am
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Only got a cell phone because

Only got a cell phone because work requires it. Believe me if i could get rid of it I would. They are evil devices. How did we manage before the cell phone took over? I can see there is a valid reason to have one for emergancys, However most people live on them. It is like a drug.

Riverman1
87157
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Riverman1 02/05/12 - 10:22 am
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I'm curious with all the

I'm curious with all the crime in America what made the Chronicle get riled up about this one? Someone have a phone stolen? Someone buy a new one and is worried about it?

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 02/05/12 - 10:36 am
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riverman, i'd bet they were
Unpublished

riverman, i'd bet they were attrcted to the pun.

Riverman1
87157
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Riverman1 02/05/12 - 10:49 am
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BSNM, ha...maybe that's it.

BSNM, ha...maybe that's it. They find the pun and then decide to write an editorial to fit it. Heh.

allhans
24053
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allhans 02/05/12 - 11:57 am
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Go on a short trip with

Go on a short trip with someone in the backseat chatting away. You give an answer and they say, oh I wasn't talking to you, bud...

allhans
24053
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allhans 02/05/12 - 12:01 pm
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I heard on the Discovery

I heard on the Discovery channel that a ton of old cell phones can contain as much as $8,000 of gold. Now..I don't know how big a pile that would be but $8,000 might be worth a few grabs to those who do that stuff for a living.

dichotomy
34502
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dichotomy 02/05/12 - 02:54 pm
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I suppose it's frowned upon

I suppose it's frowned upon to shoot them in the back as they are making there getaway after snatching your phone. It would be hard for me to control that reflex. Can I just shoot them in the leg? I hate a thief.

Little Lamb
47048
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Little Lamb 02/05/12 - 04:34 pm
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RM wrote: I'm curious with

RM wrote:

I'm curious with all the crime in America what made the Chronicle get riled up about this one?

Yes, the editorial is too much ado about little. I will back any district attorney prosecuting theft, but I completely disagree with making new laws putting cell phone theft into a category unto itself. Theft is theft. We already have laws against theft. We have theft by taking, and theft by receiving, and theft by deception. We have grand larceny and petty larceny. Each of those carries a range of penalties. If someone has a cell phone stolen, just plug that crime into one of the existing categories.

= == = = = == = ==

BTW: I thought I was the last of the posters with no cell phone. But I see I join the esteemed company of Techfan and Jane18. I'm going to wait as long as I can. I'll bet that somewhere buried in the Obamacare law is a requirement that you have to have a cell phone if you want to receive medical care after 2014.

raul
5336
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raul 02/05/12 - 11:38 pm
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