Mobile phone thefts up by 60 per cent

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HUNDREDS of students have had their mobiles stolen in the last three years - and the figures are rocketing.

Sadly for the owners, the police have been unable to recover almost any of them while the number of thefts has risen by almost 60 per cent in the past 12 months.

A hotspot for thefts was Wigan’s night scene capital King Street.

Figures obtained with a Freedom of Information Act request show thieves stole more than 50 mobiles from students last year. Only six of those were returned to their owners. The most popular brand of phone being stolen was Apple.

Insp Glenn Jones of Wigan Police said: “As the popularity of smartphones increases, unfortunately so does their theft.

“We proactively encourage young people to look after their belongings and keep them out of sight.

“The amount of reported stolen phones is relatively low in comparison to the high footfall that this area receives but police encourage those who carry expensive phones to keep them out of view and safely in a bag in closed pocket.

“We have links with the local college where we communicate these messages to students to make them aware of the risk of mobile phone theft especially in busy areas.”

Earlier this year police arrested a 34-year-old woman in connection with the theft of a mobile phone from a teenager in Standish.

It follows reports of a woman on a mountain bike attempting to steal two phones from teenage girls in the space of three days.

The first robbery on a 17-year-old girl took place on Wigan Road in Standish at about 2pm on January 15.

A later attempt to steal the phone of a 17-year-old on Preston Road, Standish on January 18 proved unsuccessful.

This comes after police officers held event a specialised event at the end of last year in order to reduce the amount of mobile phone thefts.

Officers security-marked mobiles which makes the handsets less attractive to thieves as they can be easily traced and identified by the police if stolen.

A security-marked phone also makes it more difficult for thieves to offload to others.

The Wigan Evening Post approached Wigan and Leigh College who declined to comment.