Boca Mall Thief Preys On Families With Strollers

iphone theft boca raton town center mall

Boca Raton Town Center Mall, courtesy Simon Property Group.


UPDATED: SATURDAY, MAY 11th, at 6:03p with statement from Mall.
UPDATED: SATURDAY, MAY 11th at 2:57p — awaiting response from mall owner Simon Property Group.
UPDATED: SATURDAY, MAY 11th at 9:24a with additional comments from the victim.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — For what may be the third time Friday alone, a man approached a woman with a stroller at Boca Raton’s Town Center Mall (NYSE:SPG) and made off with the victim’s iPhone.
It happened near the “new and expectant” parent parking section by Crate and Barrel.
According to BocaNewsNow.com reader Chris Sanges:

My wife was the third victim today to have her phone stolen by the same individuals in the parking area at Boca Raton’s Town Center Mall. She was leaving the mall pushing a stroller with our two babies when she was approached at the roundabout outside Crate & Barrel by a well dressed young man (23ish) who exited a fancy car and told her that his iPhone was broken (he presented his cracked phone) and asked her if he could borrow hers to make a call.
When she handed him her iPhone 4s he appeared to dial a number, say “Hello” into into it, then darted into the passenger seat and the car along with the car in front of it sped off.

Sanges tells us that security at the mall reported that it was third snatch-and-grab like this Friday alone.

The mall security said “Wow, you’re the third one today!”. They told my wife that the other victims were also pushing strollers and that the thieves know that they can’t chase after them.

Boca Raton Police, however, say only one theft was reported Friday which they are investigating and tell BocaNewsNow.com that this sort of crime is happening all over Palm Beach County.
The thief, according to Sanges, disabled GPS on the phone while making a “fake” call, disabling the “find my iphone” feature.
BocaNewsNow.com emailed Town Center Mall’s director of marketing Saturday afternoon and just received this statement:

At Town Center at Boca Raton, our primary concern is always for the safety of our customers and mall employees. We regret that a customer’s iPhone was stolen during their visit. However, on the day of this incident, no additional thefts were reported to Boca PD or Town Center security.
We work closely with the Boca Raton Police Department to execute proactive security strategies and create safety awareness throughout the mall and community. We provide 24 hour security patrols in and around the property, employing both private security and off duty police officers. We also invest in new technologies to enhance our customers’ safe shopping experience.
Safety is our top priority, and our security team is available to assist customers at any time.
to learn what additional security precautions are being taken in the “new parent parking areas.” We will update when a response is received.

UPDATE: TUESDAY, MAY 14th, 2013, CLICK HERE



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2 thoughts on “Boca Mall Thief Preys On Families With Strollers”

  1. The “find my iPhone” feature is great, but police won’t do anything with the information. A report has to be filed, then an investigation opened. By that time, the phone and perp are long gone.

  2. I was the victim discussed in the story. My husband wanted to go to the press to warn other women that this is happening, but I didn’t want to admit so openly that I was stupid enough to hand my phone over to a stranger like this.
    After the man drove away, I loaded my children into my car and stopped some people in the parking lot to call the police. It’s funny, I was thinking that I would get the kids in the car then call them myself,but it wasn’t until after I started the car that I had realized that I couldn’t without my phone.
    A man from mall security pulled up because my car was stopped in the lot and listened as we spoke with the police. He then waited with me for them to arrive, and told me that this was the 3rd instance today of phone theft.
    The police arrived in about 10 minutes. They questioned me, listened carefully and were very kind. My mind was still spinning; I couldn’t believe that I was a victom, and that I was so dumb. I was trying to remember exactly how it happened, what the man looked like, what his car looked like…
    The police said that they would look at security footage to try to see the event, which they were able to do, but according to a message from them, they were not able to read the license plate number from the car.
    To the director of marketing at the mall, I ask why security would tell me that there had been 2 other thefts if there had not been. I almost didn’t bother to call the police because I needed to get my already crying kids home, changed, fed.
    Also, I was very let down that the security cameras located directly in front of the mall enterence were not directed in such a way as to see the license plate of the car. If there were ever a get-away car involved in a snatch and grab or the like, that would be where it would be, so perhaps it would be wise to adjust one of the lenses in that direction. That might have stopped at least this one thief from returning to Town Center.

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