PORTLAND -- Portland police arrested a 16-year-old robbery suspect Thursday after a string of iPhone and iPad thefts on public transportation.
Transit police started investigating a string of iPhone and iPad robberies in April when they first noticed an uptick of thefts on the MAX.
Investigators said the boy was suspected of at least three robberies and had a stolen iPhone on his person that was unrelated to the previous crimes.
Police and TriMet officials said similar crimes are happening on public transit across the country.
Last Thursday, another 16-year-old was arrested in connection with several robberies involving the gadgets.
“People are so preoccupied with their phones that they're not paying attention to what's around them, and people can come up and easily grab it and take off,” said TriMet spokeswoman Roberta Altstadt.
Police recommend public transit passengers protect their cell phones and all electronics. They suggest keeping belongings close and not leaving them out in the open.