February 1, 2011 11.38 am This story is over 153 months old

Thieves target smartphones in Lincoln bars

Stolen phones: Police warn thieves are targeting owners of smartphones in bars and clubs across the city.

Smartphone owners in Lincoln have been targeted in four city bars and clubs with five thefts reported over the weekend, according to Lincolnshire Police.

Apple iPhones, RIM BlackBerry and other smartphone makes were stolen from people at venues including Ritzy, SCY, Jumpin’ Jacks and Sakura.

Police say in most cases they had been left unattended in handbags or jackets while people were dancing or at the bar.

Opportunistic criminals and more organised gangs target bars and clubs in Lincoln and police are warning people to be more careful.

Organised gangs will target the city on a given night and then often sell the phones on abroad, where they have a higher second hand value.

Insp Mark Garthwaite of Lincolnshire Police said: “This is an emerging problem and people really do need to be more careful with their phones.

“You wouldn’t leave £250 in cash lying on a club table while you went for a dance, so why would you leave an iPhone or a BlackBerry.

“We have got various opportunistic and organised thieves operating in Lincoln and they will continue to prosper as long as people keep giving them these opportunities.

“It is a quick easy crime, often taking advantage of someone who’s had quite a lot to drink and won’t necessarily be able to pinpoint when or where it took place.

“Please keep your phone with you at all times and keep a record of your phone’s IMEI number so your operator can block the handset if it is stolen.”

You can find your IMEI number by typing *#06# into your handset. You can report stolen phones to Lincolnshire Police on 0300 111 0300.

Owners of iPhone 4 devices can also use the free Find My iPhone app to locate a stolen or misplaced phone on a map and lock or wipe the device remotely.

Source: Lincolnshire Police | Photo: LWY