Thefts of cell phones and iPods in New York’s subways are increasing, says the New York Daily news. Crooks have snatched 165 cell phones from straphangers this year, compared with 82 over the same period last year. “I had two cell phones stolen and I didn’t report them right away to the company, and they sent me a bill of $600,” said Franco Bonaccorso, 65, a chef. “They told me that the fault was mine because I didn’t call and stop the number right away.” A public ad campaign will start warning riders to keep an eye on their phones and iPod music players, which also are being targeted by thieves.
Part of the crime jump stems from so many more people owning the devices. A major crackdown last month curbed a recent surge in subway felonies, bringing this year’s overall increase, which stood at 18 percent last month, down to 10 percent. The crime increase is almost all attributable to iPod and phone snatchings. Carl Hilliard of the Wireless Consumers Alliance said complaints of criminals racking up huge bills with calls to foreign countries have surged.