There's an email making the rounds on the D.C. police department Listservs. It's from 2nd District Commander Matt Klein, and it's about a recent string of iPhone jackings in the city:
This past weekend, there were several street robberies in which victims had iPhones taken away from them by force. The robberies took place in several areas near Georgetown and Dupont. Specifically, in the 1400 block of 31st Street, 29th and R Streets, and the 1500 block of 19th Street, NW. A separate robbery, in which a suspect grabbed a victim’s wallet in the 2100 block of P Street was immediately closed with an arrest by Second District officers.
Earlier this week, a resident went on the LeDroit Park Listserve to say he'd been jumped for his iPhone as he walked to the Shaw Metro stop. Via Left for LeDroit:
On Saturday evening at 7pm en route to Shaw metro north entrance, I was jumped from behind and wrestled to the ground by a teenage thief trying to steal my iphone. Rather than risk being stabbed, I let go of the iphone. What is disturbing is that this is a busy road with many pedestrians walking by, yet not one person stopped to help, including the shopkeepers stood on the doorsteps. When I asked for assistance, I was told to use the payphone on the corner of 7th and T which is where the gang of teenagers preying on their victims hang out in the evening – including the evening I was attacked. There were 10 or 12 on the corner of 7th and T and all fled after I was robbed. A good Samaritan let me use his cellphone to call the police who arrived in under two minutes. They said they are aware of the gang on 7th and T and have been monitoring them, yet the brazen robberies and attacks in broad daylight continue unabated.... I have now been forced to avoid the Shaw metro and will take the U Street Cordoza location instead. Anyone walking in the vicinity of 7th and T should hide their cellphones.
That last bit is pretty good advice -- but I'd expand it to just about any corner or neighborhood where you don't feel entirely safe. Having your iPhone out creates two problems: It distracts you, and it lets everyone around you know you've got an iPhone. Sure, it sucks to have to tuck away a device that's supposed to be, you know, mobile, but it's better than losing it and taking a beating in the process.