It took four men to steal one cell phone.
At approximately 2:20 a.m. on Wednesday, a 27-year-old man was walking a block from the 16th Street BART station when he was jumped from behind, beaten to the ground and kicked by four men in their 30s. The robbers searched his pockets and fled north on foot with their beating-worthy booty.
The robbery was one of three incidents involving stolen tech devices that happened within a 12-hour period and in a three-block radius of the 16th Street BART station.
In anticipation of the new iPhone being released on Friday, District Attorney George Gascon is asking smart phone owners to update their operating system, which has an added feature to ward off tech thieves. The new “Find My iPhone Activation Lock” requires robbers to have an Apple ID and password in order to deactivate the “Find My iPhone” feature, making stolen iPhones more difficult to resell.
It is too early to tell if these efforts will have any impact on the continued increase in cell phone thefts.
At 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday a 50-year-old male was walking through a parking lot on Market Street when a man identified as being in his 20s approached him and asked for a cigarette. It’s unclear if he got one, but soon after, the young man punched the 50-year-old in the face, grabbed his wallet and cell phone out of his hand and fled the scene. The victim was treated for a bloody lip at the local hospital.
The third robbery occurred at approximately 11:06 p.m. on Tuesday evening as two store clerks on South Van Ness Avenue were closing shop, according to police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza. Two men entered the shop, brandished a black handgun and demanded money. The clerks told the robbers the cash register was empty, because they were closing, and they had no money, Esparza said. One of the robbers then reached behind the counter, grabbed an electronic tablet and ran out of the store, Esparza said. Police are currently investigating the robberies, he said.