Tuesday 21 November 2017

Warning for Luas commuters as ‘hop on - hop off’ thief snatches phone seconds before tram departs

The Luas rail system.
The Luas rail system.
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

LUAS commuters have been warned to be vigilant as thieves have begun using a new method to snatch valuable smartphones.

A caller to Liveline told Joe Duffy about an incident on the red line last night.

The caller, named Linda, told Duffy: “We were stopped at Smithfield. The doors had already beeped and started to close, when a young guy aged between 18 to 20 hopped on at the last second.

“The door started to close again and the guy grabbed a man’s phone who was sitting beside the door and hopped on a bike and was gone.

“The guy was just left with his headphones dangling in his hands, it was over in a second.”

There have been regular warnings by Gardai for those with smartphones to be vigilant due to a rise in snatchings around the city centre.

“I would imagine he does this regularly. If he hops on and there’s no one using a phone he hops off again.

“It’s the people sitting near the doors on the train who are most vulnerable. This was split second timing, he had it down to a fine art.” She said.

All Luas carriages are fitted with CCTV, which may aid gardai in tracking the thief.

A spokesperson for Transdev Ireland, who operate the LUAS service, told Independent.ie that this is the first case using this method reported to them.

“We heard about the incident this morning, and on foot of that we passed along platform and tram CCTV to the gardai.

“We will continue to work with gardai in order to help catch the perpetrator in this case.

“We haven’t heard about this method before today, this is the first case which has been brought to our attention”.

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