Crimes of Note: Your Expensive Phone is a Target

by May 12, 2010 at 10:00 am 1,831 2 Comments

The past week’s tally of notable crimes: 6 robberies (1 with a gun), 1 assault, 2 burglaries (1 armed, which is unusual) and 3 stolen autos. The notable geographic pattern is that 3 of the robberies and the 1 assault were in the western end of the Borderstan area.

However, the more notable pattern is what muggers and thieves are targeting: your expensive smart phone, such as iPhones and Droids. MPD Second District Commander Matthew Klein sent out this statement yesterday:

Although the number of robberies in the Second District is still lower this year compared with the same period last year, we’re seeing a recent spike in several areas along with some noticeable trends. Recently, a large number of these robberies (cases where someone is “mugged” on the street, or has an item snatched from their hands) involve Apple iPhones. This ubiquitous, expensive device appeals to criminals because it can be easily reprogrammed, or erased, and sold for quick cash.

We’re seeing folks having phones snatched from their hands as they walk down the street, or taken from tables while sitting at restaurants. Although the vast majority of these offenses do not involve physical harm to the victim, this is a disconcerting trend that deserves attention.

As always, I’m asking folks to be aware of their surroundings, especially while walking down the street and talking on the phone (try and avoid doing that if you are walking alone at night). Do not leave your phone lying on a table while dining out as this may also attract would-be thieves.

Yes, readers, it is a bad idea to talk on your cell phone or listen to your iPod on a quiet residential street after dark… totally unaware of your surroundings. Doing so makes you an easy target for muggers. The same warning applies for night-time joggers.

Following are the crimes of note for the past week that occurred in the Dupont– Logan – U Street area. The area is served primarily by Police Service Areas (PSAs) 208 and 307 with a small slice of the Borderstan area in PSA 305.


  • Thursday, May 6, 8:05 pm, Attempted Robbery-Snatch, 1800 block of Corcoran Street NW.
  • Saturday, May 8, Robbery with Knife, 1200 block of 12th Street NW.
  • Saturday, May 8, 8:25 am, Robbery, 1600 block of Connecticut Avenue NW (restaurant)
  • Monday, May 10, 2 am, Robbery, 1200 block of U Street NW.
  • Monday, May 10, 11:30 pm, Robbery with Force & Violence, 1400 W Street NW.
  • Tuesday, May 11, 11:58 pm, Robbery with Gun, 18th and S Streets NW.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

  • Thursday, May 6, 11:30 pm, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, 1700 block of P Street NW.


  • Wednesday, May 5, 10 am to 10:30 pm, Burglary, 1400 block of R Street NW.
  • Sunday, May 9, Burglary-Armed, 1200 block of M Street NW.

Stolen Auto

  • Wednesday, May 5, 7:30 to 8 pm, Stolen Auto, 1500 block of S Street NW.
  • Thursday, May 6, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Stolen Auto, 1200 block of R Street NW.
  • Monday, May 10, 1:30 to 5:30 pm, 13th Street and Riggs Place NW.

Related Posts


Subscribe to our mailing list