NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A knife-wielding bandit is terrorizing teenagers in the St. George section of Staten Island and stealing their iPhones and iPods.

Cops say the suspect has struck at least five times in the past six weeks, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

Police believe the suspect is around 18 years old, black and about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. They say he’s going after the older iPhone 5.

“To steal an iPhone from someone is totally cruel,” one man 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern spoke with said.

Michelle told Smith she makes it a point to keep her phone out of plain sight.

“You don’t have to walk and text constantly,” she said. “You don’t watch where you’re going. That means you’re not watching your surroundings. Anything can happen.”

Another teenager said he’s careful when pulling out his iPhone.

“I’m always aware of my surroundings and who is around me,” he said.

Citywide, “Apple picking” is on the decline. Robberies of Apple products were down 19 percent for the first five months of 2014. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman credits Apple’s kill-switch technology, which allows theft victims to remotely lock their phones, rendering them useless.

Police have released surveillance video of the suspect. They are asking anyone with information about the robberies to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477 or to submit a tip online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com. All communications are kept confidential.

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