Winthrop police warn students to be cautious after iPhone thefts

adouglas@heraldonline.comApril 22, 2013 

Frank Zebedis

— Local college students were advised by police Monday morning to not let strangers borrow their phones after two Winthrop University students had their iPhones stolen Sunday night.

Winthrop police suspect that four teens between the ages of 16 and 18 stole the phones on Sunday, according to an e-mail from Campus Police Chief Frank Zebedis.

One of the thefts happened at 11:30 p.m., and the other theft occurred about 30 minutes earlier, according to police reports.

The first theft happened near two buildings on campus that are close to Oakland Avenue, according to information in one of the reports.

A female student told officers that two men approached her and one asked to use her phone to call his mom, the report states.

When she handed the suspect her phone, he ran toward the back of Winthrop’s campus, according to the report.

About a half hour later, another female student told officers that her phone was taken near a residence hall on campus when she let a stranger borrow her phone.

Winthrop officers looked for the men after the victims described the suspects. No arrests have been made yet.

Zebedis advised on Monday that students be cautious when people ask to use their phones and offer to make the call for someone if they want to help.

“Chances are they really do not need to make the call and this a just a story to get possession of your phone in order to steal it,” he wrote. “Most likely when you offer to make the call, they will change their mind or just walk away.”

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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