Last weekend I attended a very pleasant meeting of the Precita Valley Neighbors, a community group on Bernal’s opulent north slope. During the meeting, Sgt. Rachel Karp of the SFPD’s Ingelside Station dropped by to provide a neighborhood crime report.
Sgt. Karp noted a growing incidence of robberies and muggings near BART stations, transit stops, and popular pedestrian arteries. She said goons often target people who own iPhones, Blackberries, and Android devices. And how do they know who has one of those fancy gadgets? It’s easy! Goons just look for the person who’s walking down the street with their eyes on the screen and their head up their ass.
Now, Sgt. Karp didn’t put it quite that way. But that’s pretty much the message she wanted to convey. (For the record, her exact words were, “Get your head out of your device!”)
Anecdotally, Sgt. Karp says, starting at your iPhone to text or tweet while you walk down the street may increase your chances of becoming a crime victim tenfold. Here’s why:
- Your handheld gadget has real street value, which means you’re basically waving it around like a wad of hundred dollar bills. Silly you.
- When you’re watching the screen, you’re not watching your surroundings. So you probably won’t notice those goons in hoodies standing at opposite ends of the block — all the better to trap you in the middle.
- Added bonus: When the goons snarf your smartphone, they also get your address book and contacts. Hello Mr. Identity Theft!
Photos: Telstar Logistics