An Garda Síochána has issued guidance around preventing and reducing mobile phone theft.
It has issued an appeal to the public to exercise caution over the St. Patrick’s Day bank holiday weekend following recent incidents.
It has urged the public to take “particular care” with personal items, particularly mobile phones.
Gardaí believe the following practical measures can help in preventing and reducing mobile phone theft:
- Firstly, register your mobile phone with your service provider.
- Take careful note of your unique 15-digit mobile phone International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. By pressing *#06# on your phone keypad, the IMEI will appear on the screen;
- Enable the PIN Security feature and keep your phone locked at all times;
- When out and about, keep your mobile phone out of public view, be streetwise and always be aware of your surroundings;
- If you are making or receiving a phone call in public, do so with your back to a wall and reduce the opportunity to be attacked from behind;
- Never leave your mobile phone behind in an unattended vehicle;
- If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, contact your mobile phone service provider immediately to suspend your service and prevent unauthorised calls being made and billed to you. Your provider will block your SIM card and IMEI number to prevent your phone from being used on the mobile network;
- Report the loss or theft to An Garda Síochána, providing identification numbers for your SIM card and IMEI number. This information may assist in the recovery of your mobile phone.
Gardaí seize mobile phones
Gardaí’s appeal comes following a number of recent detections and prosecutions following incidents of theft in Dublin city centre.
Gardaí conducted a search of two hotel rooms in North Dublin on Sunday, March 13th, 2022.
During the course of the search, Gardaí recovered six mobile phones, each one wrapped in tin foil to prevent tracking.
They arrested a male, in his 20s, and have since charged him.
He appeared before Dublin District Court on Monday, March 13th, 2022 for the offence of handling stolen property.
He was remanded in custody and is due to appear before Dublin District Court on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022 at 10.30 am.
To date, Gardaí have returned two of the mobile phones to their owners.
Gardaí are continuing to conduct enquiries in an effort to locate the owners of the other phones.
During a separate investigation, Gardaí recovered two stolen mobile phones and a purse during patrols on Camden Street in the early hours of Sunday morning, March 13th, 2022.
They arrested a male, aged in his 30s, when they found the items in his possession.
He has since been charged in relation to this investigation and was released on bail to appear before court next month.
Gardaí successfully returned the phones to their owners.