Lincolnshire Police are warning people to be more careful with their smartphones after an increase of thefts in Lincoln.
There have been five incidents regarding smartphone thefts from handbags in clubs and bars over the past weekend alone.
Police are even suggesting people buy cheap, pay-as-you “going out” phones, which are less likely to be a target for thieves.
Inspector Mark Garthwaite said: “A lot more thefts are being reported to us and very often you’re talking about a handset worth about £250.
“People do tend to flash their phones around as they have become a status symbol in the last couple of years – but criminals are watching.
“You wouldn’t flash £250 cash around in a bar and we need to think the same way about smart phones.
“We have regular examples of thieves taking them from tables and handbags in bars and clubs when they have been left unattended for a matter of minutes.
“Criminals also target live gigs where they know they can pick people’s pockets more easily.
“On top of that we also have the issue of street robbery. If you are walking though town with your phone out you are more vulnerable and we have had a number of street robberies where phones have been stolen.
“The main issue is their value on the second hand market, which makes them attractive.
“With this in mind, it might be worth spending a bit of money to ensure that you don’t get your smartphone stolen, or you have a decent chance of getting it back if it is.
“Why not consider just buying a very cheap pay as you go phone. If all you are going to use it for is staying in touch with a few mates and calling a taxi at the end of the night then you could end up saving yourself a lot of money in the long-run.
“Thieves won’t steal cheap phones as there’s no resale value at all.”