NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- People in one neighborhood in New Haven are being warned to be careful when they take out their cell phones.
It comes after crooks have been swiping cell phones right out of people's hands.
"Apple picking isn't seasonal anymore. If you have a phone to your ear and walking downtown, groups of kids often times come swooping by with a bike and pick the Apple right out of your hand," said Andy Ross.
Thieves are reaching new levels when it comes to stealing your cell phone, they're snatching phones out of hands. It's called apple picking and it's happening in broad daylight.
"It's unfortunate, they're expensive. It stinks to have it happen," said Mike McLaughlin.
The Wooster Square watch group is trying to educate residents about this threat. They say the latest incident happened at the intersection of Court and Olive Streets when a suspect drove up to the unsuspecting victim, asking for directions, and that's when the thief grabbed the victims iPhone and drove off.
"The crime in Wooster Square has been on the rise. It's always been considered a very safe neighborhood but everyone has to watch their step," said Ross. "They're snatching them right from unsuspecting victims."
The watch group says the brazen criminals often sneak up on bikes, grab the victims iPhones and take off.
"These are youths on bikes often two or three or more at a time," said Ross.
Some say it's the sign of the times.
"You just need to keep it close to be aware of where you're going. It is just part of living in the city I guess," said McLaughlin.
"I keep my phone on me in my pocket. I really don't worry about anyone is taking it," said Mark Morgan.
"I'm from the New Haven area just having up my phone out is a normality for me, no real danger," said Matthew Rossi.
This new wave of crime has some New Haven residents worried.
"It's something that people should be concerned about, not overly but they should be concerned about it," said Barbra Guiliotis.
"Hold onto a tightly, make sure you're aware of your surroundings and stay focused," said Kim Lamothe.
The New Haven police say this kind of crime happens in every city.
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