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Police: Criminals stealing kids’ cellphones

PHOENIX — A word of warning from police: Criminals are stealing kids’ cellphones.

Phoenix Police Officer James Holmes said police recently busted a group that staked out schools and targeted kids with mobile phones.

“They would overpower the children by displaying a dangerous weapon and they would take the phones,” he said.

Holmes said he expects the number of cases to grow.

“When you have groups of people who target people with expensive cellphones around schools? That’s a huge issue for us.”

Holmes said parents need to take a serious look at whether their child should have a cellphone.

“Criminals will take the chance on a $10 beer run, imagine what could happen if they go after a kid with a $500 phone or even a $20 phone the robber thinks is worth more.”

Holmes said adults also need to be aware that they are targets, too.

“The reason cellphone thefts are happening more and more often is that our phones are almost constantly on display.”

Last month, a Valley teen was shot and killed as he tried to stop a man from stealing his younger sister’s cellphone in a Phoenix park.