At about 3 a.m. on Sunday, two Boston University students were walking home along Hamilton Road when two men stopped them and relieved them of their phones at gunpoint.
Brookline Police say the suspects took a wallet and an iPhone from one and cash from the other, after showing a black semi-automatic weapon to them. Reports also indicate an Android phone was taken from the pair. The suspects asked them for the time before flashing the weapon, according to the report on CBS.
The descriptions released on the Brookline police blog indicate there were two suspects. One described as a black male about 5'4" to 5'5" tall and about 16-years-old, wearing a white zippered swearshirt, blue jeans and a red baseball cap. The other is said to be a black man in his early 20s, about 5'8" to 5'9" tall, wearing a blue vertical-striped polo shirt with long sleeves, blue jeans and a dark blue baseball cap.
While Brookline police did not report that the two victims were BU Students, the BU Today reports that Boston University police made the connection after the students filed a report with the campus police department.
Brookline police say the case is under investigation.
Following a handful of smartphone thefts in May of this year, the Brookline Police Department issued a press release containing a number of safety tips, including:
- Do not wear earbuds, headphones, or listen to music while walking alone.
- Always walk with a friend or in a group when possible.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts.
- Walk with confidence on the street and at a good, steady pace. Keep your head up and observe your surroundings. Don't look down at the ground.
- If you feel you are being followed, show you are suspicious – Turn to look at the person. This sends a clear message that you will not be taken by surprise.
- Change directions. If someone is following you on foot, cross the street and vary your pace. If the person following you is in a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction.
- If approached, DO NOT RESIST. The best course of action is to hand over money and whatever other belongings are demanded and try to disengage from this confrontational and potentially dangerous situation as soon as possible. Remember, things can always be replaced.
- Try to remember descriptive information about the robber (height, age, race, etc.) to relay to police when reporting the incident.
Many smartphones include features or have apps which will allow for tracking of stolen phones. the Brookline Police press release does not mention these apps specifically, however an iPhone user with such an app helped police track down and recover her phone earlier in the year.
If you have any questions, contact the Brookline Police Department at 617-730-2222 or BUPD at 617-353-2121.