Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week: iPhone thief

Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week: iPhone thief

From Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers

LUFKIN, TX (News Release) - Crime Stoppers has assisted in solving several mobile phone thefts but some question the seriousness of the crime and the reason for paying a Crime Stoppers Reward.  Since Crime Stoppers is again offering to pay for anonymously-provided information that helps put a phone thief in jail, it might help to give some perspective on the seriousness of the crime.

First, taking another's property is Theft and Theft is an arrestable crime.  Second, few mobile phones are merely telephones.  Your phone might store your medical and vehicle insurance information, contact information for yourself, friends, and family, information about your employer, confidential messages, passwords and login information, your identifying information, and even your credit cards in digital form.  Some states are considering issuing digital driver's licenses to be stored in a phone.  When a thief takes your phone, they take the modern equivalent of your wallet, filling cabinet, computer, and diary, which could result in identity theft and related crimes.

This week's theft is not the usual lost or misplaced phone being picked up by a passerby.  The video posted at shows a woman stealing a phone from the hostess stand of a restaurant.  She was waiting for her to-go order when she noticed the employee's iPhone.  She moved it around for a while, probably considering how best to steal it, and then hid it in the bag with her food when it arrived.  She paid using cash so investigators could not identify her from the purchase.

If you can identify the thief, call Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS or submit a tip online at  Crime Stoppers calls and tips are anonymous and the first, most accurate tip that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.