Smartphones behind leap in Paris metro robberies: official
French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said Thursday that the so-called "smartphone effect" was largely behind an almost 40 percent rise in aggravated thefts on Paris' public transport so far this year.
The thefts are a "particularly acute phenomenon on public transport", Hortefeux said during a visit to the Paris metro system.
In November alone, of 2,813 objects reported stolen on the Paris region's public transport, 1,395 were mobile phones, of which 64 percent were smartphones such as Apple's iPhone or Research In Motion's Blackberry, police said.
"Almost one in every two thefts on public transport now concerns a mobile telephone, while 'classic' wallet or purse thefts represent only 33 percent of incidents," Paris police chief Michel Gaudin told a city council meeting earlier this month.
© 2010 AFP