Cell phones being stolen in broad daylight - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Cell phones being stolen in broad daylight

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NEW ORLEANS - It's happening in broad daylight in neighborhoods all over the city. The NOPD is investigating the latest string of cell phone thefts, often snatched right out of someone's hands.

It can happen in just a moment's time.

Theft victim Sam Winstrom explains, "I was out with my friends Friday night at a bar Uptown, and she had lost her phone at some point during the night so I was looking around on the floor at the bar, trying to find this phone, when I feel somebody's hand go into my back pocket, turn around, my phones gone."

On Saturday morning, surveillance cameras captured the image of a man police say ripped a phone from a woman's hand in the 1000 block of Canal Street at around 11:30 a.m. Less than two hours later, a man walking near Bourbon and Iberville Streets was held up and his phone was taken.

Conrad Green is one of the founders of myPhoneMD. Green explains, "You find a lot of cell phone repair stores do purchase back stolen devices because it's quick cash and it's easy money."

Green says companies like his have to be extremely careful to not purchase stolen devices. "We make sure the phones are put through a rigorous test to make sure they're not stolen or hot or some poor victim in the French Quarter that wanted a picture but is now phone-less," Green said.

In the French Quarter, Nickie Lewis tells us, "I walk and text all the time."

Green suggests people like Lewis, who works in the quarter, download an application called lookout, which has security features for phones.

Phones can also be locked and even tracked with different types of software. That's how Sam Winstrom, a FOX 8 employee, was able to eventually find his phone. Winstrom explains, "I sent a message saying I'd called the police and made up this long story about how they were gonna track him down and how he was in this dorm at Tulane because that's where the phone was sending me a beacon from, and about two hours after I'd sent him that message, I got a call saying somebody had found the phone at the front of that building."

Not very many people are as lucky. The NOPD continues to investigate the robberies on Canal and Bourbon.

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