Top 10 cities for cellphone theft? Chicago doesn't even make the list

Amid reports that the theft of cellphones on the CTA rose 16 percent in the first nine month of this year, you might think that Chicago ranks high on the list of U.S. cities for lost or stolen cellphones.

But you would be wrong.

Philadelphia is No. 1, according to a Mashable infographic, with Seattle, Oakland (Calif.), Long Beach (Calif.) and Newark making up the rest of the top five. Then it’s Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, New York and Boston rounding out the Top 10 list.

The only Chicago-related factoid in story states that 120,000 phones are lost annually in cabs.

Seriously?! That’s almost 330 a day. Can that be right? Taxi users – can’t you keep track of your phones?

The story also mentions that that smartphone theft has caused Chicago’s robbery rate to rise by 23 percent.

More interesting facts:

  • 113 smartphones are lost or stolen in the U.S. every minute.
  • Phone thefts make up 40% of all robberies in New York City
  • iPhones account for 70% of cell phones stolen on public transportation in New York, such as subways and buses.

That last fact is probably transferable to Chicago’s public transit.

Finally, the top five places to lose phones are:

  1. Fast food restaurants.
  2. Drug stores.
  3. Grocery stores.
  4. Coffee shops.
  5. The office.

Not public transit.

But don’t try to push your luck. Remember my tips for how not to be  a CTA phone theft victim.


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  • At least from this description, it doesn't say how thefts on CTA property compare with SEPTA. MTA, etc. However, I bet they are comparable.

  • People spend more time collectively in these other places than they do on transit.
    As for thefts and Chicago not making the top 10, either the data used for Chicago is incomplete, most people in Chicago using their phones do so while driving, or perhaps a bit of both.

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