In many cases, victims are not paying attention to their surroundings and are distracted by their electronic devices.
Don’t use your cellphone in public, the Pretoria central police station has warned residents following a worrying increase in the theft of electronic devices.
“Using a cellphone in public is one of the main reasons for falling victim to these crimes,” according to police spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe.
She said, in many cases, victims were not paying attention to their surroundings and were distracted by these devices.

“When cases such as pickpocketing, common robberies and theft are opened, you find that the victims’ wallets, cellphones and cash were removed from their backpack without them knowing,” she said.
“We encourage people not to display their gadgets out in the open. Ensure that you carry your bag in front of you to avoid it from being snatched and always carry your wallet in a front pocket.”
Selepe said the public should always be aware of the surrounding areas at all times and trust their instincts.
“Pay attention when using electronics on the streets. Don’t walk and text as it is easy for thieves to snatch your phone,” she said.
Selepe warned people to always be vigilant when walking along Nelson Mandela Drive, Du Toit, Lilian Ngoyi and Bloed streets towards the mall.
“Common robberies are a concern to the SAPS. We have put strategic efforts in place in preventing and eradicating criminal activities in Pretoria CBD, but it is important for people to work with us,” she said.
Pretoria central station commander, Brigadier Moses Dladla has established a mobile service centre at Pretorius and Sisulu streets as criminals were targeting clients and visitors at Sassa branches in Pretoria.

Smartphone theft growing trend in CBD