Police warned people texting and listening to music on their iPhones to be aware of their surroundings after a spike in robberies on the Venice Beach boardwalk.
The popular iPhones are being snatched from people on the boardwalk and a few people have been assaulted as they were being robbed, Det. Steven Katz of the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division said Friday.
Thirteen iPhones have been stolen and six iPods so far this year in the Pacific Division, which includes Venice, Katz said. Other electronic products also have been taken from people, he said.
One man who was listening to music on his iPhone was punched and kicked by two suspects who stole his phone, Katz said. Police fortunately were able to use the iCloud software on the phone, which includes a tracking mechanism, and arrested the suspects, Katz said.
"We're just asking the public to be vigilant about listening to music and using their phone," he said. "If you're texting or listening to music, just be aware of your surroundings."
He also urged people to download some type of tracking software on their phones. He said the iCloud software for iPhones has helped police track down the popular phones after they were stolen.
The LAPD also recently sent out a community message warning of the increase in robberies of electronic products on the Venice Beach boardwalk.