A 27-year-old woman inside a parked AC Transit bus at the downtown Berkeley BART station was punched in the face and had her cell phone snatched from her hand by three juveniles Wednesday afternoon, UC Berkeley police said today, Friday.
The robbery occurred about 2:25 p.m., police said. One of the juveniles grabbed the phone, and another one punched her in the face, according to police.
The three assailants fled, and Berkeley police searched for them without success, campus police said.
The woman was treated by Berkeley fire department paramedics after complaining of pain in her face, police said.
UC Berkeley released the following description of the robbers:
- Suspects #1 and #2: Black, male, juvenile, approximately 12-16 years of age, dark complexion, with shirt hair.
- Suspect #3: Black, female, juvenile, approximately 14-17 years of age.
The theft is one of the latest among a rising number of cell phone thefts in Berkeley and elsewhere. On Wednesday, five hours before the AC Transit bus robbery, UC Berkeley police reported three other cell phone robberies in recent days, including one where a victim was injured in downtown Berkeley when attacked by three robbers armed with a knife.
A San Francisco Chronicle article today said San Francisco Muni has reported a dramatic increase in robberies of cell phones and tablets and that San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner called a hearing Thursday on the issue.
Berkeley and UC Berkeley police offered the following recommendations to reduce cell phone robberies and thefts:
• Do not talk on cell phones or listen to iPods when alone outside as they
significantly limit awareness.
• Do not lend your phone to anyone you do not know or take it out of your
purse, pocket or bag to give someone the time, if asked.
• Do walk with purpose: Project an assertive image that conveys you know
where you are going.
• Do avoid isolation: Avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages, and
alleyways; stick to well-lit, high-traffic areas.
• Do keep a safe distance: Do not let people get too close, even if they
appear to have a reason, such as asking for the time.
• Always trust your instincts: Trusting your own instincts that a
situation seems “wrong” can be the best personal safety tool you have.