The officers of the Metropolitan Police Department would like to remind members of the public to be cautious when making electronic purchases, particularly on days of new releases of popular devices and gadgets. If you have plans to make a major purchase of a popular computer, tablet, or phone, please remember these important safety tips:
- If an online tracking system is available for your device, get the extra assistance in the store for setup before exiting the store.
- Don’t be distracted as you exit local cell phone stores and other electronic specialty stores that sell these items. Be deliberate as you exit these stores, concealing your purchase(s) and focusing on getting to your next destination. Cell phones and other music devices are major distractions when in use.
- Report suspicious people. Inside a store: Do you notice people who are paying more attention to the purchases being made, rather than checking out new products? Outside a store: Do you see suspicious people standing at or near the exit for no real purpose? Report these behaviors to police.
- Try to shop with a friend. Most victims who report crimes that involve snatching new products are people who have shopped alone. If you have an elderly parent, please make preparations to accompany him or her to make these kinds of purchases or suggest ordering them online.
- Never hesitate to point out suspicious activity or people to local officers or security guards. Remember the "See Something, Say Something" campaign and dial 9-1-1 if you need an officer dispatched to your location.
Download this as a one-page information sheet [PDF]
Resources for Recovering Your Stolen Gadgets
Here are some online resources to help you locate and protect your phone, tablet and other devices.
- Stolen Camera Finder
- Hidden (See this laptop recovery success story)
- Prey (See this laptop recovery success story)
- PC Phone Home
- LoJack for Laptops
- Laptop Cop
- Find My iPhone (built into iOS devices)
- BlackBerry Protect (free app for BlackBerry devices)
- Find My Phone (built into Windows Phone devices)