San Francisco News
Police say many cellphone robberies occur on Muni
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Cellphone robberies are happening everywhere, the streets at gunpoint and now another favorite spot: Muni buses. In San Francisco, it's so bad that a review of just one Thursday night's crimes reveals that three of the seven incidents were robberies of cellphones. There were more than 4,000 robberies in San Francisco between January and August. Police say about half of them targeted cellphones and many of the thefts were on Muni.
"His palms are a little sweaty. You see how he kind of just brushes his pants?" Officer Carlos Manfredi said as he reviewed some Muni security camera videos. He has seen a lot of them. "He's checking the door again, making sure. Its got to be clear because he doesn't want her or anybody to stop him."
A woman seen at the bottom of the screen had been pre-occupied with her smartphone the entire trip. The thief who eventually stole it was sitting right behind her, keeping a close eye on his surroundings and the prize. "He's looking at the door again, making sure there's nobody's that's going to get in his way. He's looking at her phone. She's completely oblivious," Manfredi said.
The robber got ready as the bus was about to stop. It happened quickly. He snatched the phone from her hand and ran off the bus. The whole thing happened in a split-second. "You should be looking up every single time that bus is about to come to a complete stop," Manfredi told ABC7 News.
Some robbers are even more brazen. In another video, a man can be seen standing by the door, dressed in a black hoodie. Nearby, a woman was talking on her cell phone. Monfredi says the M.O is almost always the same. He snatched the phone right out of her hand even as she was talking. Manfredi says it's easy to prevent becoming a victim. "Just take a moment. Stop for a second and look from your device and look around. See who's around you. Who's standing by you?" he said.
The simple advice is to take a moment periodically and look around you. The robber will usually always stand or sit near you. Sometimes, just having eye contact with the robber may stop them from choosing you. And just before the Muni stops, you stop using your device.
crime, iphone, smartphones, apple, cellphone, san francisco news, vic lee
- Several aftershocks felt after 5.7 quake in Greenville
- Bay Area man arrested in Czech murders case
- New details released in police officers' murders
- Boy Scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys
- BART board votes to relax rush hour bike ban
- Man exposes himself outside of hospital in SF 12 min ago
- Magnitude 8.2 earthquake hits Russia's Far East
- New info released about robbery in Santa Rosa
- Caltrans shows fix for broken Bay Bridge bolts
- LA Kings beat SJ Sharks in Game 5
- Oakland's real estate market heats up
- abcnews: New bill would allow pets on Amtrak
- roundup: Bicyclist killed in SF; Body in canal ID'd
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Friday