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Warning after string of mobile phone thefts in Nottingham city centre

Detectives investigating a series of crimes involving the theft of mobile phones in Nottingham have made two arrests.

A string of incidents in the city centre saw a number of young people targeted in the early hours while on a night out.

The first incident, on 6 January, saw three men engage a 19-year-old student in conversation in Bromley Place before robbing him of his mobile phone.

A second robbery took place the following day (7 January) in Angel Row, shortly after 4am. An 18-year-old was reportedly offered drugs by a group before one of them punched him and stole his device.

Four other mobile phone thefts also reported in the early hours of the same morning.

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In these incidents, young people were persuaded to hand over their device to someone offering to either save a contact number into their phone or add them to a Snapchat group.

Three similar phone thefts were reported in the early hours of 14 January. A description of the offenders was passed to officers, with tracking software showing the location of one of the stolen phones.

When officers arrived at that location – an alleyway off Dundas Close – a group of males ran off. One was detained at the scene while a second suspect was arrested in Trinity Square Car Park after also failing to outrun officers.

The suspects, both 22, were taken into custody and questioned on suspicion of theft and robbery. They were further arrested on suspicion of possession of a bladed weapon in a public place and a class B drug after cannabis and a lock knife were found.

Both men have since been bailed with conditions pending further inquiries.

Detective Inspector Julian Eminson-Ferry, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Mobile phone theft in the city centre has become a concern in recent times and these arrests are clearly a positive development.

“That said, the investigation very much remains ongoing and I’d like to reassure the public that we are doing everything possible to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.

“This is far from targeting low-level offenders. Not only are many phones worth hundreds of pounds, thieves can also quickly rack up huge bills on stolen devices or make expensive purchases.

“Organised crime groups involved in mobile phone thefts also use the profits from their crimes to fund further and more serious crime at the expense of local communities.

“As these arrests show, we will not allow individuals to roam our streets causing misery.”

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