SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Pools are popular places for people looking to cool off, but they are also prime real estate for thieves looking to make a quick score.
“A lot of people leave their phones and stuff just out, and they walk away and expect them to always still be there,” Maplewood resident Janelle Swaggerty told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco on Friday.
Many pool patrons leave bags, smartphones, and other personal belongings unattended while they swim. Some try to hide their possessions, but many don’t even think twice and become easy targets for thieves.
“Well, normally I leave my valuables in the car, but this time I forgot, so I just hid it in my bag,” Ruth Kalbitzer said.
In the past week police in South Orange reported several thefts of personal items, including three iPhones. Parents with young children are often susceptible to thefts if they become preoccupied with looking after their kids, police said.
“The adults are taking care of their kids and they care more about their kids than their phone,” David Josefseurg said.
Authorities recommend taking a proactive approach to protecting your smartphone by installing a tracking app and contacting police immediately if your phone is stolen.
Many community pools also offer lockers that patrons can use to store belongings in.
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