A series of phone robberies in that area and other surrounding zones on Constant Spring Road near Popeye’s eatery, the same zone where a soldier earlier in December pulled his firearm and killed a man who tried to rob him after he left a bank of cash and his smartphone is hot again. Another man not known to be gay but hangs out with the more masculine acting types of the group allegedly; one such case was carried on this blog earlier this year as it occurred to a close friend of mine. That phone was never recovered and it never had the aforementioned activated security enablers to act as reinforcements. Complaints have been reported in traditional media of robbers demanding of their victims in the robbery to unlock the phones and disable any APPS for protection while also demanding they try no attempt to take photos secretly or else. Two men who were walking for a popular LGBT spot earlier in December towards Half Way Tree were also relieved of their phones and cash by two thugs said to be linked to the homeless MSM/transgender in the New Kingston region.
The incident was not reported to the police as the victim just counted the episode as a loss which is sad to me but it is what it is. It was earlier in the year another case involving a lesbian and gay man and another man was ended in the St Andrew parish court when the victim was relieved of his Samsung phone under the guise of being accused of stealing the very phone from the woman, she called a crowd’s attention playing a victimhood card and the other two accomplices to arrive as the saviours of the supposed damsel in distress and relieve the man of his phone with onlookers supporting the robbery disguised as a rescue. It was only when the victim profusely protested and demanded someone call the number, it was when the number was dialled the phone rang as the woman was walking away laughing. The matter was reported to the police and the suspects were held and tried. They were found guilty and fined; sadly such fines are not punitive enough in my view to deter persons from reoffending; the two were also linked to an elaborate phone stealing ring where even so called phone repair men who have informal stalls on the streets benefit from scrapping and or selling the phones after getting them wiped.
It is suspected that the ring is still in operation and gays are also being targeted as another unconfirmed reports of at least two robberies just outside the a LGBT spot where after parties persons are targeted by beggars mostly homeless and or thugs who prey on the physically weaker than they are and steal phone and cash. Montego Bay is also not immune from some of this as despite the clamp down on sex work and idlers at the infamous dump up beach stretch cruisers and others have been robbed by phone thieves as well. One case had a violent element according to an unconfirmed report in August of this year , the male victim was approached by a man who begged money but when his request was not met he went on to pull a knife and relieved the man of his Alcatel phone, he subsequently posted a status message on Facebook advising that his phone had been stolen so his number would have been down.
Tips to secure your device etc:
Use the available APPS for security and remote wiping capabilities available from reputable sources as the Google Play store or Apple
Avoid using similar APPS that claim to offer protection when they may be malware or identity stealing capable masked as protection
Activate features such as capabilities to locate your device or take a photo via a front camera if an attempt is made to open the phone
Backup all your data from the phone and SD cards and SIM cards to another location just in case
Install other features such as the ‘stay alert’ APP linked to the local police
Avoid as best as possible using your devices in certain parts of town
Avoid wearing what be considered to be expensive headsets as fashionable as they can attract thieves who may assume you have a smartphone
Pay attention to your surroundings when in public or on plazas
Avoid sending messages or browsing on the device while walking, it also has implications for safety in traffic or loss of direction
Walk with or obtain a banger phone just in case to avoid possibly robbery although such phones are also being stolen surprisingly
Plan and execute your routes when going out just in case and if needs be do not answer the device in a place where you are uncomfortable.
Plain and simple just be vigilant and be safe it is not worth your life to loose a phone because it is yours and is expensive, they can always be replaced.
Peace & tolerance