Thieves target students
THIEVES are catching public transport to swipe electronic devices from unsuspecting school kids, police say.
Students are being urged to keep electronic devices out of sight when commuting to avoid being targeted.
The message follows an increase in the theft of smartphones, tablets and laptops being snatched from students travelling on trains and buses.
School Community Services Sergeant Deane McEntee says thieves routinely ride public transport looking for unwary students.
‘‘There are people who actively catch trains and buses to steal. They will identify someone they per- ceive as being vulnerable and then target them,’’ he says.
Mr McEntee says a common scenario is for the offender to move when the student is chatting or using the device as the train nears the station.
‘‘The offender sees it, grabs it and sprints off the train. There is no lingering around the station. The doors are open and they are out.’’
Uniformed officers have been dispatched to be present on public transport in order to help pin-point the culprits.
Mr McEntee says student’s can decrease the risk if they are more aware of their surroundings and are careful not to publicise the fact they are carrying expensive equipment.
‘‘It is part of a student’s makeup these days. They head to school with iPods on, they’ve got cellphones and other stuff, and that’s the world we live in, but we are advertising it,’’ Mr McEntee says.
‘‘It’s very easy for people who may be up to no good to see these things and target that person.’’
Police are advising students to keep items out of sight while riding public transport.
‘‘If you have to stand have the bag in front of you rather than at the back of you,’’ Mr McEntee says.
Law and order: School Community Services Sergeant Deane McEntee says students are particularly vulnerable for theft while riding public transport.