New trend for cell phone thefts: 'apple picking'

A new form of phone thievery is sweeping the nation. It's called 'apple picking,' where criminals take your phone right out of your hands.

A new form of phone thievery is sweeping the nation. It's called 'apple picking,' where criminals take your phone right out of your hands.

The Bakersfield Police Department said it's not happening in the city yet, but mobile phone thefts are still a huge issue, so users should beware.

"The theft of cell phones by force has been an ongoing issue," said Sgt. Orbin Love of the Bakersfield Police Department.

Apple picking is where a criminal steals a phone right out of the victim's hands, while it's still on.

"There's no need to to try to get their password because their phone is currently activated and, therefore, all their information is now at the disposal of the suspect," said Sgt. Love.

"I don't think you'd see me coming," said an anonymous self-proclaimed iPhone thief interviewed by WNBC in New York City.

He said phone thieves have targets.

"Horrible as it may sound, I tend to look for women. The older the better," said the anonymous source.

Fortunately Bakersfield police haven't had much to worry about.

"Most of our investigations are related to strong arm thefts where they're removed from a person's purses, pockets or forcibly taken from a bag," said Sgt. Love.

That doesn't mean apple picking won't catch on. Sgt. Love said the best protection is to be aware.

"Move away from people if they are approaching you, just talk at a distance and know and look at what's around," said Sgt. Love.

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