iPod thefts get violent in Toledo

By Lisa Rantala - email | bio

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Music lovers beware. Toledo police are looking for several iPod and mp3 snatchers, and they say their methods are quite violent.

After two attacks Thursday, February 19, we did some observing.

We spotted phones in ears, cords down to pockets and earpieces dangling from coats.

The problem, police say, is that if we can see this easily, then so can thieves.

"I have a lot of my dance mixes, not a lot of rap," said iPod owner Jamee Schiavone. She doesn't go anywhere without hers. "It's just something to keep my mind off. I don't like walking by myself, especially at night... to keep my mind off anybody who's going to come around me."

She's not alone. We spotted the main stream gadgets at bus stops, college campuses and with students leaving school. None were hidden for protection.

One student said, "If it was real expensive, but this one's not real expensive." She was at the intersection of Winthrop and Putnam with her mp3 player. It's the same spot where a 15-year-old girl was robbed of her iPod Nano just the day before.

According to police, the suspects pushed her up against an iron fence. They were four boys, only one year older.

Then, seven hours later, it happened again just a few miles away at City Park and Belmont. Jaceppi McNeal, 21, told police he was walking to his cousin's house when a suspect walked up behind him, stabbed him in his right hand and stole his mp3 player.

Schiavone says she feels safe with her iPod showing on campus, but would change her tune if she felt uneasy. "I would probably just put it in my book bag and make it seem like I don't own anything that's expensive because iPods do run around $200-$300."

Police say that's what you need to do unless you want someone else jamming to the beat you like best.