RTA is Hot Spot for Phone Thieves

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The RTA police have already made 24 arrests this year from 64 reported thefts of mobile devices on buses and trains. Most of the thieves have been teenagers who have targeted victims near exits. The successful arrests have come, in large part, thanks to mobile apps like Find my Phone which locate lost devices.

A 2012 study by Lookout, a mobile security firm, found that Cleveland ranked seventh overall among cities for smart phone loss per capita. But according to Lookout's findings, public transit doesn't even rank among the top 10 locations where people lose their phones. (The study's data didn't differentiate between lost and stolen items.) Coffee shops, bars and restaurants were all among the top 5.

The study said that people tend to lose their phones at night. In Cleveland, however, thefts have occurred mainly between 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. (after school, before bedtime). Because mobile devices are proliferating, they're fetching handsome sums among shady dealers.

The RTA is sincerely hoping that the $2.5 million it just authorized to install cameras on buses will not only help in collecting evidence, but will also serve as a deterrent for potential thieves. Officials encourage passengers to keep devices out of sight when they're not in use.

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