iPhone Robberies at Gunpoint on the Rise in Miami Beach

Categories: Crime

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Taking out your iPhone to snap an Instagram pic or send a booty text late at night in Miami Beach might not be worth it. Miami Beach Police are warning residents and tourists to be careful with their smartphones after a rash of brazen armed robberies have struck the town.

"It's called Apple picking, where the subjects will look when people are talking on their iPhone or not paying attention, in this case with a firearm, and will take the phone right out of their hand and take off," Miami Beach Police spokesperson Vivian Hernandez tells NBC Miami.

At least four such crimes have occurred this weekend in Miami Beach. Similar crimes have also been reported in Coral Gables and other areas of Miami-Dade as well.

In one case, a woman sitting at a bus stop on Collins Avenue was robbed at gunpoint of her phone, cash, and jewelry. In another, a victim tells WSVN that he was waiting outside a club when he was approached by three men, one of whom had a gun, and robbed of his phone.

Police have nabbed several suspects. Eight men, all between the ages of 18 and 21, have been arrested and face charges of armed robbery. Though the thieves can pocket up to $600 a pop for selling the phones, they could also face at least ten years in jail for committing a crime with a gun in Florida.

Police warn people to be aware of their surroundings when using their phones in public, especially late at night and early in the morning. Smartphone users are also warned to make sure that all security measures, including apps such as Find My iPhone and a lock screen, are enabled on their devices.

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6 comments
Darren Steinbook
Darren Steinbook

Maybe the cops should worry about this vs. killing 18 year olds for spray painting a 3" R on an abandoned building.

joelad
joelad

In spite of the continuing reports of violent crimes, police aggression and high cost, tourists still flock to MB in record numbers.  Nobody cares except to indulge and have a real good time...LOL

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

The market for stolen Apple phones, which are typically shipped and sold in Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe, is worth some $30 billion a year, according to the mobile security firm Lookout. Miami Beach Police warned smartphone users to download apps that can help you locate a phone later if it is stolen. Make sure it is protected with a passcode. Also, don't leave your phone in someone's reach. Don't text and walk. If you see a phone theft. Police say stolen phones bought here are often resold overseas -- in part to avoid a domestic blacklist being established by American wireless carriers -- eventually fetching as much as $1,000 at markets scattered from Hong Kong to Rio de Janeiro. The total value of lost or stolen phones in the U.S. is about $30 billion a year,


mygbeach
mygbeach

NOT just on Miami Beach....today a 15 yr old student on his way to school got off the public bus on 123rd street and NW 5th avenue and got jumped and beat up for his phone. So he gets to spend his day going to the hospital instead of being in school getting an education. STOP THE VIOLENCE

TomStedham
TomStedham

"eight men" have been arrested. Can we get descriptions, or mugshots, please?

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