POLICE are tapping in to mobile phone thefts after launching a special crackdown in Hastings and St Leonards.
Operation Mobli is aimed at reducing the theft of mobiles and encouring members of the public to keep their handsets safe at all times.
Last Saturday (July 14) Hastings Neighbourhood Policing Team deployed plain clothed officers in various licensed premises in the two town centres.
With the co-operation of door staff and managers, a variety of bait mobile phones were used to tempt would-be thieves.
All the phones were fitted with tracker devices and were protectively marked.
Nine premises were visited in total and but not one of the bait phones was taken during the operation.
In fact, on nearly every occasion honest and upstanding members of the public handed them to bar or security staff.
More exercises are planned during the rest of July.
Sergeant Ché Donald, from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This was an excellent result and my faith has been restored as the phones were honestly handed in.
“More of these covert operations are planned for this month and the future with a view to reducing the amount of phone thefts from these premises.
“I urge members of public to register their phones for free at immobilise.com.
“I would like to warn would-be thieves against committing this type of crime.
“The next mobile phone they take just could be mine.”
As well as mobile phones, other property can be registered free on the national property database, www.immobilise.com.
Any stolen property which is recovered is checked by police forces across the country to try and reunite it with its owner.
Whether a phone, bike, computer or any other registered item is lost or stolen, Immobilise can be used to instantly tell police, insurers, and the second-hand trade.
These actions help greatly in the recovery of stolen property and capture of thieves.
The Immobilise system was setup in 2003 and has more than 25 million members in the UK alone.