Getting your iPhone stolen? There's No App for That -- Just Hang Out in Tempe

Over the past several weeks, the Tempe Police Department says at least two groups of thieves have stolen iPhones and other electronic devices from at least eight Arizona State University students on or near the university's Tempe campus.

The most recent heist happened Monday night.

According to the Tempe P.D., the thefts have all been fairly similar -- one or more suspects will approach a person with an iPhone and snatch it out of the victim's hand. In other robberies, one suspect will provide a distraction, like asking for directions, as another thief swipes the phone.

In at least one incident, force was used to steal the device, although, no weapons have been used, police say.

The suspects have been described as groups of two or three black males in their late teens or early 20s.

Three suspects -- an adult and two juveniles -- were arrested Monday night. However, as those three suspects were getting booked into jail, another robbery of an ASU student's cell phone occurred, which is why authorities presume more suspects -- who may or may not be in cahoots with the three who were arrested -- are on the loose.

The robberies are reminiscent of two robberies last year that led to the deaths of ASU students Zachary Marco and Kyleigh Sousa in separate incidents.

Marco was shot as two thugs stole his computer while he was walking near the ASU campus. Sousa was dragged by a car when a man stole her purse as she was standing in front of the IHOP restaurant just south of the campus.

Tempe police suggest that if you're walking near ASU, you take precautions, like not listening to headphones while walking, and not displaying your pricey phones where a potential robber can see it.

Tempe police and ASU police are working together to catch the remaining suspects. Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call the Tempe P.D. at 480-350-8311.

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James King
Contact: James King