Bogota’s chamber of commerce on Monday released a survey indicating that cell phone theft in Colombia’s capital was on the rise.
The survey revealed that cell phone thefts, historically the most frequently stolen item, have increased in comparison to cash, personal items, jewelry, electronics, and car parts. Of the total number of thefts in Bogota, the percentage of cell phone robberies rose from 37% in the first half of 2012 to 50% in the second half.
The perceived threat of theft, which has drastically declined since peaking at 72% in 2010, rose from 38% to 40% in 2012. The survey did note, however, that just 21% of victims reported their crimes suggesting that the problem could be much more rampant.
“We need [to promote a] culture among the citizens of Bogota of using cell phones in safe places and not flaunting wealth,” said Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro in response to the survey’s presentation.
According to the findings, 45% of thefts in Bogota were accompanied by violence of some kind. In 2011, a cellphone robbery turned murder made headlines when the victim turned out to be a priest.