Weekly Crime Tip From the Desk of Wayne Ivey
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // February 12, 2014
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Now that we have concluded our Weekly Crime Prevention series on engaging parents, I thought we would shift this week’s focus to protecting our cellular telephones (Smartphones) against being lost or stolen.
Smartphones have become the centerpiece for many of our lives and are utilized for practically every form of communication in today’s society. Voicemail, calendar, email, texting, internet access, social media and even all of our stored data can be stolen or lost. Even if we misplace our Smartphone and someone finds it, all of our data is available for theft and abuse.
Today’s criminals look for opportunities to steal our cellular telephones and tablets, so we need to make sure that we not only protect them against being lost or stolen, but also have them programmed to prevent our data from being compromised as well. — Wayne Ivey
The idea for this week’s Crime Prevention Tip actually started two weeks ago following an incident that occurred in Orlando where my wife and I were attending a Broadway Show. As we exited the theater, we heard a scream and saw a young man run from the area with a Smartphone that he had grabbed from a victim’s hand while she was walking and sending a text.
My first instinct was to chase after the subject, but just days before I had pulled a hamstring… so obviously I knew there was no way I would catch him. Okay, who am I kidding… that was never my first instinct, nor my second, as this kid was running like he was qualifying for the Olympics.
However, being a veteran law enforcement officer, I immediately scanned the area and observed his two friends (co-conspirators) that were walking with him before the theft and properly introduced them to some of the Orlando Police Department’s finest.
Today’s criminals look for opportunities to steal our cellular telephones and tablets, so we need to make sure that we not only protect them against being lost or stolen, but also have them programmed to prevent our data from being compromised as well.
Our Crime Prevention Team recommends the following measures to keep your Cellular telephone from being lost or stolen and to protect all of your stored data:
• Never position your cellular telephone or tablet where someone can walk/run by and grab it from you. Try to limit exposure of the device, especially in crowded areas.
• Never leave your device laying on a table or open area allowing someone to walk off with the device.
Never allow a stranger to borrow your cellular telephone even if they try to convince you it is an emergency or they need help. Once they take possession of the telephone they will run from the area with all of your data.
• Do not leave your cellular telephone or tablet in open view in your vehicle while you are away. Criminals will break into your vehicle to steal the devices while you are at the gym, school, or anywhere else you are parked for extended periods of time.
• Never allow a stranger to borrow your cellular telephone even if they try to convince you it is an emergency or they need help. Once they take possession of the telephone they will run from the area with all of your data.
• The moment you purchase or get your new Smartphone set the features so the screen automatically locks after each use. Make sure to use a password that is difficult to break and not the standard “0000” that some people use. If your telephone or tablet is lost or stolen this feature will protect all of your data from being stolen or compromised.
• Download apps that will allow you to remotely track, lock, or erase the data on your Smartphone or tablet. There are a number of great apps out there that work to protect your data and even some apps that will take a picture of the thief and email it to you so it can be given to law enforcement.
• Always save your data and photos at periodic intervals so you still have access to your information in the event your device is stolen or lost. By saving the data using a USB Drive, Computer, or Cloud Service you will always have the majority of your data in storage so that it can be accessed and downloaded to your replacement device.
• Insure your device through your wireless provider or other method so if it is lost or stolen the replacement costs are limited.
• If your device is stolen please contact your local law enforcement agency to report it so that we can hopefully identify the perpetrator and recover your property. Notifying law enforcement also allows us to alert others in the area of the theft to be on the watch for similar activities.
Parents please make sure that you share this important information with your children in an effort to make sure they are aware of the methods that criminals use to target them and their cellular telephones. In fact, please share this week’s Crime Prevention message with all of your family and friends to help protect each of them as well.
I hope each of you has a great week and thank you so much for all of your continued support for our agency.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft. That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.