An epidemic of violent cell phone thefts among teenagers is putting kids at risk of robbery if they openly talk or text on their wireless devices, says the Boston Herald. “Right now it's almost dangerous to carry a cell phone in the city of Boston if you're a young kid,” said Lt. Detective Jack Danilecki. “You want kids to worry about going to school and keeping out of trouble – not some punk who's going to steal their cell phone.”
The most commonly swiped phone is the well-marketed Sidekick – a trendy, wide-screen phone coveted for its ability to interface with social networking Web sites. One in seven robberies in Boston this year involved a Sidekick. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 4, 304 Sidekicks were pilfered, up 200 percent from last year, said Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis. Police are investigating electronic pawn shops popping up, some of which allegedly buy used Sidekicks and other stolen phones for up to $300 or more. These stores often flout a city ordinance mandating they document identification from anyone selling a used phone, cops said. “The fact is that people steal these for economic purposes,” Danilecki said.