Grab and go: Just before Christmas, cellphones were the target of thieves who snatched the devices from the hands of users who were distracted by what was more important than what was lurking around them:
- Wednesday (12.23.09) 10:35 p.m.: A white guy had his phone grabbed in the 800 block of St. Peter Street (between Bourbon and Dauphine streets) by a black punk, 15 to 19 years old, 5'4" tall, weighing 140 pounds, wearing a multi-colored jacket, long white T-shirt and baggy blue jeans.
- Wednesday (12.23.09) 11:28 p.m.: A white man walking in the 700 block of Barracks Street (between Bourbon and Royal streets) was robbed by 2 black dudes and 2 black chicks. The men grabbed the victim and the women rummaged through his pockets to get his wallet and cellphone.
- Wednesday (12.23.09) 11:56 p.m.: A white man walking near Bourbon and Toulouse streets had his phone stolen away by a big black man, 6' tall, weighing 180 pounds, with a medium build, wearing a dark knit cap.
- Thursday (12.24.09) 1:28 a.m.: About an hour and a half later and a block away, what is believed to be the same thief, struck again at Bourbon and St. Peter streets. He grabbed the phone of a white man, who described him looking like the previous robber, but adding detail of short hair and wearing a black sweatshirt and blue jeans.
- Sunday (12.20.09) 10:30 p.m.: This time the robbers came armed. A duo of young black punks pulled a pistol on a white guy walking in the 1000 block of Iberville Street (between Burgundy and N. Rampart streets). They took his money and cellphone from his pockets.
Word on the street is that thieves are trying to bag iPhones, which apparently are in high demand in the 'hood. The cautionary tale is this: if you're walking down the street talking on your cellphone, you're not paying any more attention to what's happening around you than a driver is. Put the damn thing down and be alert to your surroundings--not being alert is what gets people robbed. If you must make a call or receive one, put your back to the wall and keep an eye out while talking.
In between: On that same busy evening (12.23.09), a black guy reached over the counter at the Cajun Country Store, 400 Canal St., around 10:35 p.m. and grabbed money from the cash register. The perp, who fled on foot up Magazine Street, was described as 35 to 40 years old, 5'8" tall, weighing 150 pounds, with a dark complexion, wearing a white and blue-stripped shirt, blue undershirt and blue jeans.