Cellphone thieves strike across San Francisco

At least five San Franciscans have had their cellphones swiped since Friday, a crime that is increasing as users become more distracted with smartphone devices.

The most violent robbery occurred around 10:45 p.m. Friday where three suspects — described as black men between 18 and 24 years old — approached a 28-year-old male, pistol-whipped him with a black handgun and ran away with a cellphone and laptop.

The incident happened near the intersection of Folsom and Cesar Chavez streets. The victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Three black males also are being sought in a similar case in which cellphones were stolen from 24- and 29-year-old males in the 1500 block of Folsom Street at 1:50 a.m. Monday as the victims sat in their car.

Police said the suspects approached the victims and forced them out of the car. One suspect pistol-whipped one victim and took cellphones from both men. The suspects fled on foot. The victims were transported to Kaiser Hospital, and treated for injuries not considered life-threatening.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, a 22-year-old woman’s phone was taken when two black men approached her around 12:20 a.m. near the intersection of Haight and Fillmore streets.

The suspects approached the victim and asked for the time. One suspect then pushed the victim to the ground, fleeing with her phone.

Twenty-one hours later and seven blocks away, a 28-year-old woman’s iPhone was taken from her violently. Around 9:45 p.m. at the intersection of Fillmore and McAllister streets, two black males, between the ages of 16 and 17 years old, shoved the woman to the ground and ran with her phone.

Another cellphone robbery occurred around 3 a.m. Sunday near Geary and Hyde streets. The suspect, a black male between the ages of 20 and 25 years old, had asked a 22-year-old woman to make a phone call. When she pulled out her phone, the suspect took it, kicked her when she asked for it back, and fled in a gold GMC Envoy.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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