Smartphone thefts are on the increase - protect your BlackBerry!

By James Richardson on 16 Jan 2014 11:15 am EST

It's sad to see, but not surprisingly that smartphone thefts are on the up. As more and more people can now affordably switch from a feature phone to a smartphone it's only logical that thefts will increase unfortunately. 

The following figures are from the U.S. but I'm sure they reflect a trend worldwide I'm sorry to say. As you will see below, according to the Huffington Post some areas are seeing a huge increase in thefts: 

Nearly 2,400 cell phones were stolen in San Francisco last year, a 23 percent rise from the year before, according to police.

In New York City, 8,465 Apple products were reported stolen last year, an 8 percent increase from the year before, according to police statistics.

I can't imagine being without my beloved BlackBerry 10 smartphone so don't forget you can take some steps to help in the aid of recovery if you fall foul to a naughty robber. Apart the the obvious, such as not leaving your BlackBerry on display in public places, keeping it zipped up in a pocket or purse and using a password to unlock the BlackBerry you'll also want to ensure you have BlackBerry Protect enabled. 

In the event that your BlackBerry 10 handset is stolen, BlackBerry Protect will allow you, or the police, to track it using GPS and hopefully get the phone reunited with you. 

BlackBerry Protect is built onto the BlackBerry 10 OS so you don't really have an excuse not to use it - better to be safe than sorry. Hit up the below link if you need some guidance or more information about using Protect. 

View our in-depth guide to using BlackBerry Protect

Reader comments

Smartphone thefts are on the increase - protect your BlackBerry!


You can lock it, wipe it, send it a message and track it through BlackBerry Protect from a pc. Has to do that once years ago with my storm.

...we are all connected...

It can actually be done by a phone with internet capabilities. I lost mine for ten min in a bar. Borrowed friends phone. Hit loud sound and my BlackBerry summoned me to the jack $#/ that had my phone. They had "found it ". Yeah. Thank god for protect! The Gps told me it was still in the building.

I am curious if you wipe it. Will the Gps still lead you to it!?

Posted via CB10

I haven't tried this myself, but I'd think that if you wipe your phone it's your last ditch effort to save your data, and by doing so you've already tried tracing it with GPS and making noise. By hitting wipe, you're effectively giving up and handing the phone over to whoever has it.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Would people really steal a BlackBerry? I thought you couldn't give them away....just kidding

You do have a point. I wonder how many bb10 phone are stolen globally in comparison to samsungs and iphone. I wouldn't imagine they have anywhere near the desirability. I would say it's a shame...... but if anyone tried to steal mine, I would chop their bloody hands off!!!!

Posted via CB10

There aren't enough BB10 phones in people's hands to steal!

Lol jkjk

Posted via the super amazing BlackBerry Q10

People will steal anything that might have someone's boobs on it. I guess some thieves out there are interested in account numbers too

Posted via CB10

I've had a few phones stolen to know a thief is a thief is a thief!. As was pointed out. It really is a case of remote deactivation and move on. Police in all honesty are very unlikely to ever recover it. Unless your pretty important it's unlikely the police will go to your phone even with tracking. They just see it as another one of the many that's been stolen.

Posted via CB10

Someone stole my mother's 9900 (luckily I got a z10 and gave her my old bold). I setup blackberry protect for her but she deleted it saying "It slowed down my phone".... but anyway moral of the story, people would steel poop out of your toilet if they knew you swallowed a penny...I know you were joking though.

Posted via CB10

Blackberries are hard to steal. Granted you have a password to unlock it. You can't hard reset them like other phones so it becomes a brick phone. Plus hopefully you have encrypted your memory card and what not. They did an article on this not too long ago so lock and encrypt your sh#t. Don't be a statistic.

Posted via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA  ‎BlackBerry Q10...SON!

You CAN reset any BlackBerry to factory settings even if it has a password set and encryption turned on. You won't get access to the previous data after the inevitable security wipe when you've tried to guess the password too many times but only BlackBerry can 'brick' the phone by blocking it's PIN which will mean the phone never gets passed the setup screens.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 / on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2

Protect your phone. It is valuable. Also just curious as to why the crackberry crew have a police baton lying around?

You can call BlackBerry support with prove of ownership and ask what phone number / sim card that is currently used for device PIN.

:) tracked down my phone in Russia, and it was returned to me within 2 weeks.

It would be nice if the alarm would still go off if they pull the battery. I'm assuming that feature doesn't exist? It should. You just need a small compartment that stays charged as emergency energy...

Posted via CB10

I guess that's one less thing to worry about when own a blackberry. You gotta be really desperate to steal a bb device these days.

Does blackberry protect work without turning on location services? Lost my ipod last year and was able to track it down with find my iPhone! I was amazed.

Would be awesome if protect could be able to track it down and maybe even put a message on the phone about a contact number in the case of being lost

Posted via CB10

I believe everything in BlackBerry Protect except location tracking will work even then. You can make an alarm sound, display a message, wipe it remotely, etc as long as the phone's connected to the Internet.

I don't know how your iPod was tracked with location off, maybe using the WiFi network to pinpoint a location?

Via CB10 on Z10 | T-Mo |

I've been calling BlackBerry since last year and no way to contact them directly. Sad to say that BlackBerry can't disable the device and they will ask you to contact your local carrier. If BlackBerry can disable it by their own, I can say that no one will try to rob your blackberry phone.

Posted via CB10

What about the people who conveniently reported their phone as lost just to get one to sell the other outside the country :p

Posted via CB10

This article is not truthful or balanced.

Blackberry Protect as well as the built in security feature of the BlackBerry OS has a design flaw that will make retrieving your device newly impossible.

If your device is password protected and if you enter the password incorrectly 'about' ten times the device wipes itself. There is no scenario that the police can locate the decide once it is wiped.

Location Services is not password protected. With Location Services turned off the device. Is not displayed on the map.
If the thief turns off Locations Services, again, there is no easy method for the police to locate the device.

So, don't fully rely on the Blackberry OS and/or Blackberry Protect to help you or the police find your device If it is stolen.

I've sent numerous message for BlackBerry to address this to no avail..

Posted via CB10

I prefer that I have one more option for BlackBerry Protect. In addition to:
I want to choose "Burst into flames". :-)

Ya good luck getting the police to track that down lol.

your best bet is a remote wipe and move on. Learn from it

White Z10

Not much worried about the phone "per se" but more about personal information stored inside the phone.. always use passwords and all the precautions to protect that! A stolen phone is maybe a good excuse to upgrade to a new one, stolen personal information... mmm not that nice! Unfortunately people do not understand that otherwise would consider BlackBerry under a different light

I think if anyone stole my BlackBerry thinking it was an iphone, they would just give it back lol

Posted via CB10

My only issue with BlackBerry Protect is that it is dependent on location services, and anyone can just turn that off.

I used my Z10 to create this CrackBerry madness!

"that's not true".... just tried on my Z30 - you have to enter your password on your BlackBerry ID page to turn BlackBerry Protect "off" if it is "on"....

It required you to enter the password to disable BlackBerry Protect, not location services. So, a thief could easily disable tracking by disabling "Location" under settings.

Via CB10 on Z10 | T-Mo |

However, if your device is locked, that's a win for the theft victim.

Via CB10 on Z10 | T-Mo |

BlackBerry Protect being enabled (setup) should have location services always enabled for that app, regardless of location services being turned off by the user. Also, we need the same bells and whistles as BBOS for Protect on BB10. I'm glad the tracking and wiping is present but, backup functionality, etc needs to be present too.

Posted via CB10

Nobody is gonna steal a BlackBerry, it's like that t-mobile commercial he's gonna see it and not want it or give it back

Posted via CB10

Heheheh, I had a post about Apple related crime in NYC. We're safer with BBRY both online and in real life.

BlackBerry Protect is pointless once the battery is pulled which is the first thing thieves do. My z10 was stolen and I monitored it for 2 weeks before reporting it to my carrier. Nothing. The investigators told me all people do is go to the mall and there's a machine that gives you money back for cells put into it which doesn't check if they are stolen. That's the advantage the iPhone has over BlackBerry right now is you can find your iPhone most of the time because you can't do a battery pull opposed to my z10 where within 5 minutes of me noticing it BlackBerry Protect told me it couldn't connect to my phone and will attempt again when the phone is turned back on which is never.

Posted via CB10

It's the "self important Fanboys and Girls" walking around cities talking on their iPhones because you know - the call can't wait - getting their iToys ripped out of their hands...

Their parents will buy them a new one. Maybe they can get their pictures back once they find them on the internet

Posted via CB10

I have been thinking about this since my teen daughter got her Z10. She said that she has been getting a lot of attention from carrying her phone, kids think it is different and cool. The fact that it is not like the other Android or iPhone phones draws attention to it. They want to play with it. Will talk to her about password protect and we have enabled BlackBerry Protect on her phone .

BB Uniq BB Bold -Z10 with 1925

They need to develop a BlackBerry that can be detected by BlackBerry Protect, whether the phone is off or on, as well as having a data connection or not.

Put a homing device in them, and do not tell anyone where it's installed.
This is a good way to locate a phone. As long as the details aren't made public. Why can't the company do this? They tell too much about their technology and it ruins it for them.

Take my advice, install a homing device into these phones.

Posted Via Z10

I would not like any device that has hidden tracking enabled, without being able to deactivate it.

I'd rather have it stolen and wiped. That's what backups are for.

The device is replaceable, a stolen identity or my privacy is not.

My name is Prem, I'm using BBM ... from my QuZe10 ...whatarhyme...

I always use BBY protect but I don't lock the device because I am using it so frequently and is disturbing then to need to type the password every time.

Sent from my Z 30

I lost my Z10 on the golf course like an idiot. It was a bad day and stayed bad until I got a new one again. I'm very attached and protective of my BlackBerry

There used to be an app for BlackBerry os 7 and earlier Called buddyguard from terra mobility witch I found better then the blackberry protect. Unfortunately with the BlackBerry 10 os, the app wasn't compatible. And now I can't event find their website anymore like if they went out of business.

Posted via CB10

It does suck. I got robbed and they took away my Bold 9700 and brand new iPod Touch. I got home 5 minutes after that and they had removed the battery/SIM card already... Scary night, I can't get over the pictures I lost that were on my SD Card. I got another BlackBerry Bold 9700 which my friend found in an airport while traveling but it doesn't work very well
Once I get a Z30 or Q10, I will buy insurance for it

Sadly, in North America BlackBerry phones have almost no resale value. There, only a n00b would rip off a BB.

Posted via CB10 on my  Z10

This is awful.

To those who think that BlackBerry isn't a phone worth stealing: even if a thief hates BlackBerry, they will just grab it and sell it or still use your phone number (if your device isn't password protected) to call up all their friends or maybe even a couple calls to Australia... I dunno, I can definitely see the value in a Q10 ($700) or a Z30, for example. They won't care if it's not the "in" phone to have - they'll still steal it and perhaps try to sell it or who knows what else. Thieves will break into a car to steal a few toonies, perhaps in hopes of finding something more, so don't underestimate your phones' value.

Posted via CB10

My family has had 2 stolen in the last 12 months ..... see my post in 'General Discussion' earlier today about phone insurance!!

No one is going to take my z10.... here in New York City they may just return to you since they don't want to be seen with a z10!

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry Protect needs to increase features to a level that rivals Norton Mobile / Lookout / Max Secure / etc.

+100 that $h!t!!

From My BlackBerry Z10 on Rogers Wireless

One of the things I love the most about blackberry's current reputation, is that I'm not afraid to get it stolen.

Like the numbers showed, apple products get stolen, and samsung are easy to get so not worth stealing.

It's actually why I switched back to BlackBerry.
It just happens that it's also much better than my previous 4S

Posted via CB10

I could leave my z10 alone in the subway and nobody touches it. The benefits of an unpopular phone. :)

Posted via CB10

How are people stupid enough to have their phones stolen in the first place? Do what you need to do with it and put it away! Funny I've never had a thief reach into my front pocket for anything before! And they'd loose a hand if they tried!

Posted via CB10

I also wonder about the value of the lockscreen password protect - unless you have it set to a very low time limit the thief has time to get in and turn that feature off if you've been using it recently or just left it on a restaurant table etc. And to those that think no one would steal a Blackberry (jokingly or not), nothing could be further from the truth, as some have said. If something can be sold for a few bucks that's a few bucks more than they had before.


On nice summer days my boys call out sick. As so happens they also turn off Location Services.

Why? For obvious reasons. Sadly, they can do it and because Location Services is not password protected. Location Services is not even administered correctly by Parental Control.

This article is bogus. Fix Location Services!

Posted via CB10

Blackberry is a protection itself. A few years ago a thief stole my headphones but not my blackberry

Posted via CB10

You know what, in some cases, I think BB Protect is useless. Btw I'm from Indonesia. There are many robbers here, and many phones were stolen. When the robbers got people's phone, they always tend to switch the phone off in many ways, for example, open the battery door and take off the battery, in this case you can't use BB Protect, this is the case where I think the phone with unremovable battery like iPhone and Z30 wins. But also when I tried something that probably the robbers will do like switch the phone off like common action by press the turn off button, this also the case. From this one I think locked phone with password can't be turned off, but when I tried, it can be turned off. What I'm trying to tell are these case must be considered by all manufacture phones and OS as well

Posted via CB10

It's exactly the reason why I'm using more and more my BlackBerry (usually Q10) in public. My iPhone stays deep in my pocket until the next "safe" area. Low price (< €400), small screen and low features (applications) are the perfect combo for a robber-unattractive street phone. If BlackBerry will become again trending, I'll have to change my strategy...

Was in a rollover Tuesday night.... my vehicle ended up on its roof. while I was ok I couldn't find my z10 to contact the people I needed to. A kind fireman let me use his iPhone to log onto BlackBerry Protect, I made my phone ring and ring. They pulled it out from inside the dashboard. BlackBerry Protect has many uses, the firemen were impressed that from the mangled wreckage I could find my phone no problem.

Posted via CB10

Imagine a thief's face when he steals someone's Z10, incorrectly assuming it is an iPhone. (I've had way too many people think my Z10 was an iPhone on first glance.)

Posted via CB10

There needs to be a new Law written (in the US) where police can assist citizens who's phone is lost or stolen. Currently, it requires a search warrant for law enforcement to retrieve someone's lost or stolen phone that is tracked by GPS. I believe that a majority of these phones could be recovered by a cop knocking on the door of the location where the phone is and returning it to the owner. Unless there is a serious crime involved in the theft of the phone the phone will remain lost or stolen.

I would bet that most of these people are losing there phone. For every second someone is looking for there phone. Look over your shoulder there's a thief

Posted via CB10

Since I can remotely lock my device, and send a message to display on the lock screen, and command it to make a really loud awful sound (which it does very well), there is still at least one thing missing that really should be there: remotely turn on GPS Location Services

To view the device location through BlackBerry Protect, Location Services must be on. Occasionally, I turn LS off to conserve battery life, and I am concerned about a theft or loss if my device disappears in that condition. Since other device parameters can be changed remotely, why not this one?