Boston police urge awareness after rash of robberies involving cellphones

Boston police are urging residents to be aware of their surroundings throughout the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, citing an increase in cellphone thefts around the city.

“It’s not unusual during the very busy holiday season for people to be distracted with what’s going on around them,’’ said Elaine Driscoll, spokeswoman for Boston police.

The Boston Regional Intelligence Center has received 37 reports of people being robbed of their cellphones since Nov. 1, Boston police said in a statement today. A majority of the incidents occurred between the hours of 5 p.m. and 2 a.m.

The robberies occurred citywide, in areas such as Back Bay, the South End, Dorchester, East Boston, and Downtown. Smart phones are especially sought after, police said.

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Police said they have arrested at least eight individuals in connection with attempted and actual robberies.

Boston police have released a list of tips:

–Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. When walking, parking, or returning to your car, remain in well-lit and populated areas.

–Wear sneakers or shoes that allow for added mobility.

–Be watchful and aware. Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you and be observant of passing vehicles.

–Don’t become distracted by talking on a cellphone or listening to an iPod/similar device.

–Avoid walking late at night. Walk with your friends and people you know.

–If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or residence.

–If you are being robbed, comply with the robber’s demands. Make a mental note of as much descriptive information as possible.

–After a robbery, try to remember which direction the robber fled in, their license plate number, type and color of vehicle, and type of weapon displayed. Call 911 immediately.

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