Police have issued a checklist of safeguards to protect people from falling victim to drive-by theft.

The Met Police published a guide for protecting people’s mobile phones and personal items from would-be thieves on mopeds and bikes.

The warning suggests that most thefts occur between 6pm and 10pm in the evening. Criminals often use scooters or bicycles to snatch phones from people, particularly at busy places such as road crossings, outside stations, concerts and shopping centres.

Here is a checklist of techniques to guard your property:

Be aware of your surroundings

  • If you need to use your phone on the street, look out for anyone on a bike or a moped near you
  • Make it quick so you don’t become distracted
  • Don’t text while you’re walking – you won’t notice what’s going on around you
  • If that’s not possible, stand away from the roadside close to a building or wall so no one can come up behind you
  • Going hands free can prevent a thief from snatching your phone out of your hand

Use the security features on your phone

  • You must switch on your phone’s security features to protect your phone
  • Use the keypad lock so that thieves cannot immediately access your phone, or use the biometric authentication if your phone has it (finger print or facial recognition)
  • Your phone may have other security features you can use.  These could allow you to wipe data, lock your handset, or prevent a thief from restoring a phone to its factory settings from another internet device

Know how to identify your phone if it’s stolen

  • Every phone has an IMEI number which helps police and insurance companies to identify it if it’s stolen. UK network operators can also stop a stolen phone from working across their networks with its IMEI
  • Find your IMEI number by dialing *#06# from your phone and keep a written note of it. If the phone is stolen, report the number to your mobile provider to stop it being used
  • Register your phone and other property at www.immobilise.com to help police recover stolen property and combat the sale of stolen goods.  Police recover more than 2500 items on average a month registered to the website

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