Stay awake and aware when commuting
A while ago, Broadband Expert wrote about iPhone theft around the holiday shopping season. Thefts of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices are not limited to shopping seasons. Thieves have even found it easy to exchange a stolen iPhone at an Apple Store and walk away with a new iPhone that is legal and not tied to a theft.
You should be aware any time you are shopping or are even walking to your car after a long day at work. By being totally aware of your surroundings, you can often avoid robberies. If you see someone lurking around the parking lot, turn around and go back to the store and find a security guard to help you.
If you live in or around a large city like San Francisco or New York and commute by train, subway or other public transportation, you are especially vulnerable. The click-clack of the rails and the swaying of the cars can have a hypnotic effect on you.
The New York Police department is reporting a dramatic rise in thefts. Thefts of iPads, iPhones and like devices in New York’s subway have risen 23.6% in the first three months of this year.
The police estimated that 33% of the theft victims were asleep when they were robbed. Even if you don’t fall asleep you can be affected. If you become the least bit drowsy or like looking at the scenery go by, you are vulnerable for theft.
To make matters even worse, a lot of people use the commute time to watch videos, text, and even respond to work emails and prepare reports. All thieves in the area now know where the big ticket devices are and just need a split second to snatch your device and scoot out the door just before it closes.
A friend of mine commutes by train from the South Bay area to San Francisco. He was given a real-life course in commuter theft when his 2-day-old iPhone was snatched just as the train doors closed.
If you want to avoid such an expensive course, try and do the following:
- Keep all your electronic devices hidden.
- When carrying a tablet or laptop, maintain a firm grip on the case handle and have the case strap wrapped around the opposite shoulder.
- If you must use your device, keep a firm grip on it and secure it as soon as you are finished.
- Don’t daydream when looking out the window.
- Don’t count telephone poles or fence posts.
- Above all, stay awake and continually scan the passengers around you for anything out of the ordinary.
Stay safe, my friends and keep hold of your expensive devices.
Picture courtesy of Fred Hoot