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Helping Those Who Help Themselves

02 February 2017 | Updated 01 January 1970

Police officers from the Westminster division are renewing appeals to trace a man filmed stealing a mobile phone from a coffee shop yards away from New Scotland Yard.

CCTV showed the moment the suspect approached the victim who was working on her laptop with her mobile phone sitting on the table alongside it.

The man placed a piece of paper (believed to be asking for charity) in front of her, concealing the mobile underneath. The woman waved him away with a 'no thank you' and the suspect walked off - stealing the mobile phone.


April fools

Embarrassingly for the police, the incident occurred on April 1 2015 but the footage of the man has only just been trotted out in support of the 'Be Safe' campaign.

As many as 10,000 mobile phones are stolen every month, often by opportunistic thieves who will take any chance to steal a phone, which can be distressing, costly and a huge inconvenience to the victim - and their employers.

The Be Safe crime prevention campaign aims to motivate people to take small crime prevention steps to protect themselves and their property:

  • Don't leave your phone unattended on a table or forgotten in a bag.
  • On a night out, look out for each other's phones.
  • If you need to use your phone, be aware of your surroundings. Try going hands free or stand away from the roadside close to a wall so no one can come up behind you.
  • Don't text while you're walking, you won't notice potential thieves approaching.
  • Your phone comes with a range of security features, such as keypad locks and remote data wiping. Make sure they are all activated to stop thieves from accessing your phone and personal data.
  • Know how to identify your phone if it's stolen.
  • Find your IMEI number by dialling *#06# from your phone and keep a written note of it. If the phone is stolen, report it to the police and your mobile provider to stop it being used.
  • Register your phone on to help police return recovered stolen property and combat the sale of stolen goods. Police recover more than 2500 items registered to the website on average every month.
  • Never confront a thief or risk your own safety for the sake of your mobile device.

Picture: Driven to distraction or a career criminal? This man has not been caught since he was filmed stealing a mobile phone last year

Article written by Robin Snow | Published 02 February 2017


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