MORE than 700 phones were stolen in Wigan borough last year prompting police chiefs to issue fresh warnings.
Following a spate of increasingly violent robberies in the borough over the past few months, in which youngsters have been targeted for their mobile phones, Greater Manchester Police have said that 716 devices were taken in 2012.
Last month an 11-year-old boy had his mobile stolen by two thieves after walking past a bus-stop in Lowton.
And in May, two teenage boys were assaulted and robbed in Wigan town centre, resulting in one of them suffering a broken leg.
While earlier this year, a teenage girl had her phone snatched by three men in broad daylight while she was walking on Cale Lane in New Springs.
A spokesman from Wigan Division’s Policing Neighbourhood Team (NPT) said: “You can reduce the risk of mobile phone theft by following a few simple steps. Don’t leave your phone on tables in pubs or restaurants and try to avoid walking and texting at the same time, you will be less aware of what is happening around you and your phone will be on show.
“Keep calls in public places as brief as possible, the longer you talk the more likely you are to be spotted by a potential thief.”
Police said the devices, especially iPhones, were now “craved” by thieves. They also warned of organised groups travelling the country targeting people out trying to enjoy themselves.
Weekends are the most likely time to see people having their phone stolen say GMP and the mostly by opportunist pickpockets.