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Atlanta iPhone thieves get more brazen | News

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Atlanta iPhone thieves get more brazen

ATLANTA, Ga. -- It was Sunday night in an Edgewood Avenue bar called Church. The owner, Grant Henry was seated at a table.

As the evening progressed, he realized his iPhone had disappeared. A day later, he looked at surveillance video and realized a patron of his bar had apparently swiped it.

"It looked like a bunch of frat boys," Henry said. The iPhone is sitting on the table one moment. One of the men moves toward the table -- and the phone disappears.

"Here's the problem: alcohol," said Henry, who has a license to sell alcohol. "I know I have a part in it. But people should not steal."

Three weeks earlier, alcohol had nothing to do with the theft of Holly Keyes' iPhone. Working at an antiques shop, she took her eyes off her iPhone just long enough to have it stolen. "I put it on the counter for a moment. And that's all he needed, was one moment." Surveillance video at the store shows a man grabbing the phone and walking off.

Neither alleged culprit has been identified, nor have the phones been recovered.

Atlanta police don't specificaly keep records about the theft of iPhones. But police say there is evidence that thieves are being much more brazen about stealing iPhones and other electronics in bars and other public settings.

"We have literally had laptops stolen from them while they are typing. They come by and they snatch them very quickly," said Carlos Campos, APD spokesman.

Last year, Atlanta police produced a flyer warning bar and coffee shop patrons to safeguard their electronics. Keyes and Henry second that.

"If we can catch enough people who are taking them, it will discourage people from doing it," Henry said.

11Alive's Help Desk
has some suggestions to safeguard your phone.

Lock the phone.

Make sure phone tracker apps like Find My iPhone are installed.
Wipe your personal data remotely.