POLICE are urging people to be on their guard following a spate of mobile phone thefts in Hartlepool.
Three mobile phones and a laptop have already been stolen while people have been out and about this weekend.
Police are now warning residents to be aware of others around them while using their phones and to keep them fastened away.
Inspector Peter Howarth, of Hartlepool Police, said: “Thieves are targeting people going out at night and we would urge people to keep bags fastened and make sure personal possessions are close and secure at all times.
“People should make sure they use their phones when it’s safe to do so and be aware of those nearby.
“Also, make sure your phone is marked and identifiable.”
People are also encouraged to register mobile phones with their network operators and note down the IMEI number which makes the phone unique and helps recover it if stolen.