As smartphone technology has gotten more advanced, the devices have become more appealing targets.
“The average person who steals it has no intention of activating it as a cellphone again. It still is a very valuable piece of equipment,” explains Pavlik.
Police are redirecting resources and working to address the growing problem. Meanwhile, passengers are being urged to take some small steps, including keeping phones out of sight while on trains or at least limiting use.
Nearly all victims have been younger than 25 years old and most are female, but the crime can happen to anyone as long as thieves feels they have an opportunity.
“Be aware of what’s going on around you,” Pavlik says.
Below is a breakdown of the thefts that occurred in calendar year 2012 and calendar year 2013.
CALDENDAR YEAR 2013
CALENDAR YEAR 2012
Total theft snatches
Theft snatch cases involve personal electronic devices