In a recent report, CBS 5 went undercover to find out just how much crooks are getting for stolen iPhones and how big the operation of stealing and selling the lucrative devices has become.

According to CBS 5’s data, iPhone robberies are on the rise, with close to 400 incidents in the past half a year occurring in SF, one victim of which was Ashley Sedillo. Sedillo was sitting at a bus stop in downtown SF texting her mom when someone came up from behind and attempted to nab the phone, she says. When Sedillo refused to let go of her phone, the thief punched her twice.

As two thieves who spoke with CBS 5 say, thieves target those who appear to have enough money to afford a new one or might have an insurance plan for their phone. The result: though many iPhone thefts involve violence, many victims still won’t bother to come forward and reporting the crimes to the police.

Once a phone is stolen, says CBS5, it’s jailbroken and then sold, usually at the corner of 7th and Market St. Older phones go for around $50 to $75, with newer models running in the hundreds. .

Though the Tenderloin police station is just a few blocks away, SFPD is having a difficult time catching thefts and illegal transactions. Sgt. Mark Obrochta’s only advice for iPhone owners is to simply not take the phone out.

Says Obrochta, “Don’t use them unless you have to.”

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the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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