A group of roving thugs are patrolling Surrey streets, stealing electronics from people, mostly when the victims are alone.
Surrey RCMP issued a warning Friday that over the past few months, they have responded to more than 20 similar robberies throughout the city.
The thefts typically involve a lone victim who is approached by two to five muggers.
Suspects demand valuables, typically electronics and cash.
In most of the cases, the threat of violence is used or a weapon is produced to intimidate the victim.
So far, there have been no serious injuries reported.
Some of the victims have been young people.
The robberies usually occur in the evening to early morning hours (7:00pm-3:00am).
Due to the similarities in these incidents, investigators believe a large number may be committed by the same group of individuals.
The suspects are generally described as young males, in their early 20s, with thin builds, travelling in groups, generally on foot.
Surrey RCMP’s Robbery Unit continues to advance these investigations by making arrests and identifying a number of persons of interest, however, the Surrey RCMP is reminding people to be extra vigilant.
“Trusting your instincts by being aware of your surroundings and staying in well-lit areas will help reduce the risk of becoming a victim,” said Sgt. Dale Carr. “Don’t text while walking and keep valuable possessions out of sight. In the event you are robbed, do not fight back and, if possible, try to note what the suspect looks like and their direction of travel. Call police as soon as it safe to do so.”
Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP Robbery Section at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477.
Protecting yourself and your property
Police say there are steps that can be taken to help reduce the possibility of being robbed and if you are, to limit the chance of being hurt.
• Avoid using your phone on the street in full view. If you have to use it, be discreet.
• Take note of the serial number of your phone and keep it in a safe place.
• Consider software that will remotely locate your phone using built-in GPS.
• In the event you are robbed of your phone report it immediately to the police and contact your network provider so they can disconnect and prevent any unauthorized calls or texts.
• If you are purchasing a phone, check the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number on the phone at www.protectyourdata.ca to ensure it has not been reported lost or stolen in Canada.
For more information and tips on personal robbery prevention, please visit the Protect Yourself section of our website.