Police are warning residents about a recent rise in iPod thefts.
“School-age youths” are targetting other younger people with the music players and other hand-held electronic devices, according to the alert sent out by 43 Division on March 31.
“It’s not just iPods, but all types of electronic devices are such items getting stolen frequently,” Const. Bill Campbell said.
Campbell, the area’s crime prevention officer, said he is not surprised by the rise in thefts, but rather with the lack of feedback by the victims.
“There seems to be a fear from those robbed to report them to either their parents or police. If people aren’t reporting the incident, police are left unable to help.”
According to the Toronto police website, the last known report of a stolen iPod in 43 Division was on March 22, nearly a week before the community alert was sent out. In that report, four male suspects approached a 17 year-old man near Ellesmere Road and Bellamy Road around 10 p.m. They pushed the victim against a fence and proceeded to go through his pockets. They stole an iPod and a metropass before fleeing the scene southbound, behind the Centennial Arena. The victim sustained no injuries.
Four male suspects between 16 and 18 are being sought.
Toronto police have received reports of stolen iPods almost every day in the past two months. In many of the reported robberies, the victim was approached and attacked by more than one person.
Campbell says victims are not inclined to report these thefts to either the police or even their parents because they are afraid to tell anyone, believing that they may get into trouble.
Beyond the high value of the iPod, Campbell says they’re commonly stolen because they are easy to spot.
“IPod headphones are an easy giveaway. It’s like leaving the item completely out in the open, making it easy to be picked off.”
Police are cautioning youth to refrain from openly displaying these electronic devices when out on the streets.