Cmdr. Andrew Smith, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, called the trend “a big concern.”
“It’s just a phone — it’s not worth losing your life over,” he said. “Let police officers take care of it. We have backup, guns, radio, jackets — all that stuff civilians don’t have.”
Still, although police departments have devoted more resources to combating smartphone theft, most cannot chase every stolen device right away, especially if the phone was left idly on a bar rather than seized in an armed robbery.
And despite the obvious risks, the lost phone’s location — blinking on a GPS app — is a siren song many find too alluring to ignore.