A Consumer Reports survey suggests that smartphone thefts are surging across the country, reports the Washington Post. Based on statistical extrapolations from its survey, Consumer Reports estimates that about 3.1 million Americans were victims of smartphone theft last year, nearly double the number in 2012. In Washington, a recent Metro report listed 643 “snatch” thefts in the transit system last year, 90 percent of which involved cellphones, up from 491 in 2012.
The increasing popularity of smartphones, easy to carry and conceal and highly valuable, is a major factor in the growing number of thefts, according to law enforcement officials. The “prevalence of portable electronic devices, particularly iPhones, over the last five years has made the crime of theft/snatch skyrocket,” Transit Police Chief Ronald A. Pavlik Jr. said in the Metro report.