Living proof that being on TV doesn't make you less vulnerable to crime, CNN anchor Carol Costello reported that several teens in Atlanta's midtown snatched her iPhone last week.
In an all-too-familiar scenario, Costello described how the two suspects ran up behind her while she was taking a call and forcibly took the phone from her, taking a chunk of her hair in the process, the Associated Press reports.
As smartphone robberies of this kind continue to increase, lawmakers and consumers are taking steps to stem the tide of thefts.
CNN Anchor Loses Phone, Drops Knowledge
After her brush with her mid-afternoon thieves last Thursday, CNN reporter Carol Costello took to Facebook to give her friends the low-down the next day.
Costello shared some crime-prevention advice with her followers, according to Atlanta's WSB-TV, such as:
- Do not talk on your phone while walking down the street. Even though Costello was walking around midtown Atlanta around 4:30 p.m., she was distracted and vulnerable to thieves.
- Let go of your phone. Costello lost a chunk of her hair as a result of struggling with her muggers. In general, it's a good idea to not struggle when a thief has a hold of your phone.
We might add that you should also follow Costello's example and call 911.
City Officials React
Disturbed by a rising trend in "Apple-picking" (the theft of iPhones, iPads and similar mobile devices), San Francisco's district attorney is calling on Silicon Valley to make their devices more secure.
D.A. George Gascon spoke with Apple and Google representatives about ways to implement a "kill switch" on mobile devices so that smartphones can be wiped of data and easily disabled if they are stolen, reports The Huffington Post.
After Calling the Police
Costello's story is certainly a cautionary one. After calling the police, iPhone theft victims should also remember to:
- Contact their mobile carrier. Companies like AT&T will allow you to report the phone as stolen and suspend your service.
- Use the "Find My iPhone" app. This feature on iPhones allows you to track your phone as long as it is turned on. In some cases, victims have used it to catch up with alleged thieves.
- Check with credit card company. Some credit card companies like American Express offer theft protection for up to 90 days from purchase. This could mean a refund for the price of a recently purchased phone.
- CNN anchor robbed: Carol Costello has iPhone ripped out of her hand on street (Examiner.com)
- iPhone Thieves' Nabbed by iGotYa! App That Snaps Their Photos (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Phone Thief Caught on SF Taxi Dash Camera (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Lindsay Lohan Necklace Case: Is She a Jewelry Thief? (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)