Staring at one’s cell phone while riding public transportation has become commonplace, but transit police say this ordinary practice could be contributing to electronic device thefts.
Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 26, there were 43 robberies on the MBTA system, according to a post on the MBTA Transit Police blog. Thirty-six of those 43 thefts – or 84 percent – involved electronic devices, most notably smart phones such as the widely used Apple iPhone.
"Unfortunately, thefts of smart phones/electronic devices (most notably Apple products) is a nationwide trend," the blog post says. “This trend often referred to as ‘Apple Picking’ is for the most part a crime of opportunity.”
The blog post provides tips on how to mitigate the chances your phone will be snatched while using the MBTA. Keeping the device concealed and switching to darker colored earbuds are helpful, the post says.
The post adds that most thefts occur near the train doors.