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Gravesend pub hit by series of mobile phone thefts

PUBLISHED: 15:25 19 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:39 19 February 2014

Police are investigating a spate of mobile phone thefts at a pub after as many as "nine" have been stolen in a fortnight.

Police are investigating a spate of mobile phone thefts at a pub after as many as “nine” have been stolen in a fortnight.

Outraged pub-goers at The Somerset Arms, in Darnley Road, Gravesend, are now demanding action from the pub and the police to stop thieves.

A mother-of-one, who did not wish to be named, said: “We found out about it the worst way and then you find out it is rife. My daughter had her phone stolen a couple of weeks ago.

“People do not know it is happening every weekend. No one is putting any [information] out to tell people it is going on. I just want people to be aware of it.”

The pub, though, said they feel powerless to stop the thieves.

John Tait, a barman at The Somerset Arms, said: “It has happened quite a few times in the last few weeks but it is tricky pinpointing who they are.”

The Gravesend mother also added she felt the issue did not just involve the pub.

She said: “We have loads of people who can unlock people’s phones in Gravesend – you can have it done for £120 without identification.

“There is a sign [at the market stall] saying “you must have three bits of ID” but you don’t. It is a little crime ring.”

Kent Police say in most of the reports, the phone was stolen from a handbag or coat pocket.

Inspector Chris Carter, of the Gravesend Community Safety Unit, said: “Enquiries are ongoing in our investigations but in the meantime there are some basic safety steps we’d encourage members of the public to take.

“Register your phone with your operator as soon as you get it and note down the phone’s details.

“When you’re out and about, stay alert and keep your phone out of sight when it’s not in use in a closed bag or zipped pocket. Never leave it unattended or on display and if you’re in a crowded area and feel unsafe, avoid using your phone.” Anyone with information regarding the reported thefts can contact Kent Police or call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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