SAN DIEGO — Parents listen up – if your child has a laptop in their backpack or carry a smart phone while walking to school, authorities say they could be a target of a growing trend.
Criminals are following students and then robbing them.
The warning comes out today as police investigate an incident near the San Diego State University campus where a student is followed home and then robbed at gunpoint and its putting many young people on alert.
Tablets, cell phones and laptop computers are just some of the personal electronics thieves target. The devices are small, valuable and police say can be removed quickly.
“I take the bus everyday so it’s something I always have on mind, something I think about everyday I come here. It can happen to anyone, you know. You just don’t know when, and where. You could be in the wrong place, wrong time. It’s scary,” said Gerardo Delarvia, who is a new owner of a laptop computer.
Delariva is a young filmmaker. He recently got his hands on the newest Macbook Pro which he uses every day to edit…and the laptop never leaves his sight.
“My mom paid a lot of money for it so, she’s told me that if anything bad were to happen to it, I won’t be getting a new one anytime soon,” he said.
Authorities say there is a market for our personal electronics. A thief can sell a stolen laptop, mp3 player or a smart phone to an unsuspected used computer store or pawnshop and can easily walk away with half of its value in cash.
“That would break my heart because I use it, like 24, 7 at home. So, if I don’t have my laptop then I basically have nothing to do,” said Anthony Valdez, a student at High Tech High.
To protect your laptops and other electronics whether you’re at home, school or on the road, police say don’t leave them in plain view inside a vehicle. You should carry devices in a nondescript carrying case or bag and don’t walk away from them when you’re in a cafe, restaurant or meeting room.
“I think it’s really bad because I have heard stories about my friends, their laptops, anything that has been stolen especially if it’s something that is meaningful to you,” he said.
If your laptop or smart phone is stolen police suggest having password protection that requires a person to log in every time the computers powers down. Also, back your information using cloud-based storage or something like a flash drive.
Have questions or a story idea for CW6’s Carlos Correa? Stay connected with him on twitter: @carloscorrea2 or on facebook: carlos correa