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Cell Phone Snatchers Target South Miami

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(Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

(Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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South Florida Crime

SOUTH MIAMI (CBS4) —  Police in South Miami are warning residents about cell phone snatchings.

So far, four have happened in the past couple of weeks.

Ana Bez had hers ripped right from her own hands.

“I was sitting down and the guy came up from behind me grabbed my phone from my hands and ran to the emergency exit,” said Bez.

Bez was simply texting a friend when the thief took off with her phone.

“They’re coming from behind just running up behind them and snatching the phone,” says Major Rene Landa with South Miami Police.

Diana Ruiz says her phone was stolen two weeks ago at the South Miami Metrorail station.  In her case, she says she wasn’t looking down at the phone, she was about to put it in her pocket.

“It’s horrific because it’s your personal space and you never think it will happen to you but it does…. I was parking my car like always in the train and walking down the stairs, somebody just grabbed me went for my purse.  I tried to fight him off but he grabbed my phone and kept running,”  explained Ruiz.

Police arrested one man about a month ago and they say they arrested a juvenile earlier this year, but the cell phone snatchings are still happening.

“This is not something just to South Miami, it’s really going on all over Miami-Dade County and Broward,” added Major Landa.

Cell phone users like Courtney Avery are holding their phones a little more tightly and keeping their eyes focused on what’s happening around them rather than their next text.

“Oh yeah that could happen to me at any time at any time when I’m on my phone,” says Avery.

Bez is determined to not let this happen again.

“Next time, if I do get another phone I’m gonna keep it in my bag and securely in my hand if I’m gonna text and keep a good grip on it,” said Bez “If there’s people behind me I’m going to look around make sure no one’s about to take my phone or something.”

Police say the best way to protect yourself is to look up and be aware of your surroundings.

While they’re asking you to be more aware, they’re also conducting extra details around South Miami to try to catch the cell phone snatchers.

Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

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