How not to become a victim of cellphone thieves

JANUARY 8, 2016

Police in Port Elizabeth are urging cell phone owners/users to take heed of the following tips, which will assist in preventing cell phone theft.

"Many of the cases reported indicate that cell phones are stolen when they are exposed to the public eye," the police said.

These tips will enhance personal safety as well as to inform the victim of the basic police procedure to follow when his/her cell phone is stolen:

  • Always conceal your cell phone when you are in a public place. Many victims become so engrossed in their conversation that they are oblivious of their surroundings. Thieves are always lurking for a soft target while you are not even aware of their presence around you.
  • Most cell phones are snatched at robots and intersections when drivers/passengers are talking on the phone. The suspect surprises from behind and snatches the phone through an open window.
  • Never leave cell phones lying on the seat of the car while driving.
  • When in a public place, only answer your cell phone when it is safe to do so.

"If your cell phone is lost or stolen, report the loss to your service provider. Request the service provider to block the SIM card to ensure that no further calls are made.

"At the same time request that the handset be blacklisted, in this way making the handset inactive – it then cannot be used on any other networks in South Africa," the police further said.

"Your service provider will provide you with a blacklisting reference number. Keep the reference number as it is proof that the handset has been blacklisted.

"The next step is to report it to the police. The police will request the blacklisting number as well as the IMEI number of the phone when opening a case." 

To avoid becoming a victim of crime, one has to take  all precautionary measures to ensure one’s personal safety as well as the safety of one’s property. 

Image: GuardianUK