Cellphone thefts among central Florida crime trends



ORLANDO, Fla. - Law enforcement officers from across central Florida are meeting Wednesday afternoon to talk about crime trends in Orange County and what is being done about them.

Cellphone thefts is one of the crime trends local law enforcement officials are most concerned about, because anyone can be a victim almost anywhere. Authorities said the thefts are driving up thefts not only in Orange County, but across the nation.

One investigator who has been dealing with a lot of the cellphone theft crimes said about a third of the robberies he investigates are cellphone-related or motivated.

The Sheriff's Office said it has not seen a spike in identity theft because of phone thefts, however.

Authorities said they're getting reports of people snatching phones right out of someone's hand as they're talking on it or sometimes even asking someone for the time so that someone will take the phone out so the thief can then grab it.

Police said there are some ways they're working to crack down on the thefts, but they didn't want to go into too much detail.

Authorities did say their goal is to make the public aware that cellphones are a big target and that all users should be aware of that to avoid becoming a victim.

Investigators said they have made multiple arrests in a case where someone was getting people to steal phones that were then sold on the black market.