Smartphones are a major target for thiefs and the public must take care and be vigilant according to Labour city councillor Niall McNelis.
More than 12,000 mobile phones were stolen in Ireland in the first 10 months of last year. It is understood that a criminal gang has been targeting Galway but that arrests have been made in recent weeks when a large number of phones were found. The Gardaí are running a special operation targeting smartphone thieves, called Operation Aughrim.
“I would advise the public to just be careful where you have your phone,” said Cllr McNelis. “Leaving it on the table when you are going to a bar counter is like waving a red flag to a thief. Some of these phones cost more than a lap top and I would encourage everyone to record the IMEI/ESN number which is individual to each handset.”
Cllr McNelis outlined the security steps which can be taken to reduce the chances of smart/mobile phones being stolen: register the mobile/smart phone with the service provider; take note of the IMEI number. If the phone is stolen, the IMEI number is used to disable it. The IMEI number for your phone is located on the back of your phone underneath the battery or by dialling *#06# on your keypad; never leave your phone behind in an unattended vehicle; if you have a smart phone, consider downloading a location finder App; if your phone is lost or stolen, immediately report it to An Garda Síochána and contact the service provider with the IMEI.