New York City Police Department

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Weekly Crime Prevention Tips - June 2013

Outsmarting Phone Thieves


Smartphone thefts have increased sharply in recent years in New York City due to their popularity around the city, the country, and the world.  Smartphone's are in high demand- whether new or old-and the high monetary return makes them especially appealing to thieves. 

The Crime Prevention Section would like to give you detailed steps you can take to outsmart a Smartphone thief:

When using your Smartphone in public:

  • Stay in a constant state of readiness; stay alert to lurking predators and unexpected dangers.
  • Avoid leaving your phone on the table at restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.
  • Avoid leaving your phone in an open handbag and never hang the bag over the back of a chair when out at a store or café.
  • Do not call attention to yourself by walking with your Smartphone in hand when not in use.
  • When traveling by bus or train remain alert and remember that most thefts on public transit occur near bus and train doors.

Register and lock it up:

  • Register your Smartphone with tracking apps. (Example: iPhone users - "Find My iPhone", Android users - "Where's My Droid", and "Look Out") antitheft apps allow you to remotely lock your phone, wipe it clean of sensitive information and even remotely set off a high-pitched phone alarm.
  • Register your Smartphone with the NYPD Operation ID program at your local Police Precinct. Ask for the Precinct, Crime Prevention Officer.
  • Password protect your Smartphone.

Know your numbers:

  • Smartphone model number, serial number and International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) number.
    • o   Note: Save where you can easily retrieve them
    • F.C.C. maintains a full list of carrier contacts for reporting stolen phones: AT&T customers call 1-800-331-0500; Verizon, call 1-800-922-0204; Sprint, call 1-888-211-4727; and T-Mobile, call 1-800-937-8997.
Informational videos on how to safeguard your electronics, are available in our video library, which can be viewed by clicking HERE.  



Beware of Deception Burglaries


Deception Burglary- a burglary committed by a person(s) that gains entry to the home by posing as an employee of a particular company. This impersonation includes but is not limited to, utility companies, delivery companies and construction companies such as plumbing or electrical contractors. A common explanation is "A pipe broke down the block and we have to check the water",...Once inside the perpetrator(s) manipulate and distract a victim in order to obtain their valuables.

  • Don't Become A Victim, Don't Let them In
  • Verify The request by calling 311 for DEP water company issues
  • To verify Con Edison call 1-800-752-6633
  • Don't hesitate to call 911

These crimes are often targeted at elderly victims during normal business hours (9am-5pm) making them less likely to question the situation.

The Crime Prevention Section would like to share the following information to help avoid you becoming a victim of a deception burglary:

  • If someone comes to your door offering work inside your home and you were never contacted in advance or requested such work:
    • Don't open the door
    • Stay inside your home
    • Verify his/her I.D. through the view finder
    • Contact the company to verify employee's I.D. (company numbers could be looked up via internet or on your bill)
    • Keep a list of utility companies phone numbers in a convenient location
    • Do not invite anyone into your home while you verify a "work order" and person at your door
    • If you can't verify the I.D. ,you feel unsafe or suspect criminal activity call 911 immediately



NEVER give out any financial information, especially... Social Security Number

                                                                                               Credit card information

                                                                                               Bank account information