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Smartphones Displace Handbags As Most Stolen Item on Paris Metro

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Parisian thieves have switched from snatching handbags to targeting smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and BlackBerries, according to Paris police chief Michel Gaudin. He told a Paris City Council meeting that "Almost one in every two thefts on public transport now concerns a mobile telephone, while 'classic' wallet or purse thefts represent only 33 percent of incidents,"

Seventy percent of the phones stolen in Paris are smartphones, police statistics show. Of the stolen smartphones, the iPhone accounts for 58% of thefts, while BlackBerry accounts for 10% of smartphone thefts.

The Police Chief added that the 8.9% rise in violent crime in Paris since the start of this year can be partly down to the rise in smartphone thefts, which accounted for three-quarters of violent attacks in October alone.

The French government is planning a law to mandate the blocking of stolen smartphones by registering their IMEI serial numbers.

On the web: Sydney Morning Herald - Maxisciences

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Tags: paris  apple iphone  blackberry  public transport  planning  France