Police warning after phone thefts

Latest news from Northumbria Police.
Latest news from Northumbria Police.

Police are urging residents to safeguard their property and avoid becoming a victim of crime after two recent mobile-phone thefts in the Alnwick area.

People are asked to be vigilant when in crowded places and to never leave their phone on show, such as hanging out of a pocket, or unattended at any time.

Officers are also advising people to make the most of their smartphone’s security features by downloading applications to trace or track the owner’s phone via GPS. This means if it’s lost or stolen it can be traced.

Innovations such as wiping data from the phone or locking stolen handsets remotely - and even taking photos of the thief - can also be activated, making it difficult for criminals to escape detection.

People should also note down their IMEI number - International Mobile Equipment Identity - which can be used to stop the phone from being used and renders it useless to thieves.

The advice is part of Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling opportunist thieves and burglars across the force, and promoting crime prevention advice.

Alnwick Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Truscott said: “It’s important people follow crime prevention advice and remain vigilant to avoid becoming a target for opportunist thieves.

“People should avoid advertising their property to others by leaving it on a table or in full view from their pocket or bag. This is all the opportunity a thief needs to try and steal it.

“Using the technology available in most modern phones also gives us a better chance to track thieves in real time, arrest them and recover the stolen property.

“We’re carrying out enquiries into recent thefts. I’d ask anyone who is offered a mobile phone for sale in the area under a ‘no questions asked’ scenario to contact us.”

People can contact police on 101, extension 69191. Further crime prevention advice is available via the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk