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About 130 phones are stolen per week and only 10% are recovered

The mobile phones stolen in Ireland since 2019 are worth about €5 million.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/THE YOOTH

ALMOST 11,500 MOBILE phones have been stolen in Ireland since the start of 2019 – about 130 a week.

Of the 11,488 mobile phones stolen since the beginning of last year, only 1,176 (about 10%) have been recovered. 

The mobile phones stolen from January 2019 to the end of August 2020 are worth about €5 million.

Gardaí are appealing to smartphone owners to download a ‘find my phone’ app and add an emergency contact number to their phone.

Speaking at the launch of a new campaign today, Sergeant Dean Kerins, Crime Prevention Officer for the Meath Division, said: “The price of mobile phones makes them a clear target for criminals, so let’s try and deter them by increasing phone security.

“If you a have a smartphone, we recommend downloading a trusted location finder app so if it is lost or stolen, you have a better chance of getting it back.”

Kerins said garda stations across the country receive a lot of stolen and lost phones but often cannot trace the owners. Adding an emergency contact will help solve this problem, he noted. 

“Other preventative measures you can take include enabling the PIN security feature, keeping your phone locked at all times, and property-mark it with unique personal letters or numbers.”

For those who do not own a smartphone, dial *#06# on the keypad and note the IMEI number that comes up. This is a 15-digit number that is unique to the phone.

“If your phone is lost or stolen, call your service provider immediately so they can block the phone.

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“If you believe your phone has been stolen, you should call gardaí immediately. Do not follow the person via your tracking app”, Kerins advised.

3-ways-to-help-us-help-you Source: An Garda Síochána

The most common place for phones to be stolen is out in public or in a licensed premises, so gardaí are advising the following:

  • Be wary of your surroundings and mind your property.
  • Plan your night out, how are you getting there and how are you getting back?
  • Avoid walking alone in dark places.
  • Keep your phone out of public view.
  • Don’t leave your phone on display in a vehicle.
  • Dial *#06# and save a screenshot of your IMEI number. Email the image to yourself.
  • Keep your phone locked and enable as many security features as you can.
  • Download or activate a trusted ‘find my phone app.
  • Add a relative or friend as an emergency contact in your phone.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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