Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
There's a new crime trend called Apple-picking, where thieves target Apple products like iPhones and iPads, has come to North Texas.
How important is your smartphone to you? It's an easy question to answer if you've had yours stolen.
April Colley, whose iPhone and purse were recently taken from a restaurant in Dallas' Knox-Henderson neighborhood, said she "can't do anything" without her phone.
"I mean, I had a doctor's appointment today [and] couldn't call and cancel. ... [I] had stuff to do yesterday, had no phone," she said. "I mean, I can't check my email. I can't do anything. I have no phone, no computer. I might as well be in a desert."
Police say thieves are specifically targeting Apple products such as iPads and iPhones, a trend investigators call "Apple picking." Dallas police say iPhones are among the most common items stolen.
Last month, the Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association sent out a release after two people reported their phones were stolen by people asking to borrow a phone to make a call.
Highland Park police Sgt. Lance Koppa said a thief at a grocery store recently asked a woman if he could borrow her phone and then ran off with it.
Koppa, who was off-duty and at the grocery store when the theft took place, said he noticed a man on a mobile phone standing next to a woman. Moments later, she was screaming for help.
"I walk around the corner and, the next moment, I hear this woman yelling,'He's got my phone. He's got my phone,'" he said.
Koppa ran after the man and was able to capture him and return the phone to its rightful owner.
"This suspect was running down the alleyway, and we just followed him down the alleyway until he ran out of gas and made the arrest," he said. "He had asked to use it to call his mom. It was just a scam."
But it could happen to anyone, Koppa warned. He advises people to be cautious of letting strangers borrow a phone and also says people shouldn't keep anything in plain view because it makes them an easy target for smash-and-grab thieves.