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iPhone 5S Release Prompts Police to Prepare for Thefts

Beware of iPhone theft around iPhone release dates. With the much-anticipated release of the new iPhone 5S this Friday, some Apple fans may face a police officer or two leaving the store with their shiny new phones.

According to the Huffington Post, the Chicago Police Department is planning on sending additional officers out to a public transit stop on the city's North Side, near an Apple store. These officers will not only be there for crowd control purposes, but also to carefully monitor for any potential thieves looking for a five-finger discount on their own iPhone 5S.

With this potential new wave of iPhone thefts upon the city, what can be done to protect yourself and your smartphone?

Take Necessary Steps Afterwards

If your phone has unfortunately been snatched, remember, it's not necessarily lost forever. Here are some steps you should take:

  • Notify the police. Since you are without a phone, try to see if you can borrow someone else's or you might be able to make a report online for a stolen item. Remember that while making a police report, you'll want to provide as much detail as possible.
  • Check any security apps. If you have an iPhone, activate the "Find my iPhone" app. This service can remotely track the GPS location of your phone as long as it's turned on.
  • Suspend your service. While this may not lead you to your phone, you'll definitely want to call your mobile carrier to claim the phone as stolen and to suspend your service. This way you won't end up paying for any data the thief might use.
  • Check with credit card company. If you purchased your phone with a credit card, check with your credit card company. Some cards may offer theft protection for up to a certain number of days from purchase. This won't return your phone, but it will at least refund you the money for you to purchase a new one.

Protect Yourself

Walking and talking on your phone might just be asking for trouble, and preventing phone theft is far easier than recovering a stolen phone. With the release of the newest Apple iPhone 5S this week, make sure that you take the proper steps to ensure that you aren't susceptible to phone thieves.

This includes reducing risky behaviors like drawing attention to your smartphone, talking on it too obviously while you are walking down the street, leaving it on a table unattended, or leaving it in your car -- even if it's locked.

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