A pair of men allegedly conned a Collingswood teenager out of her cell phone while the girl was making her way home from tennis practice last week, prompting concern from a district official and making parents a little more watchful.
On October 9, Collingswood police said, a 15-year-old borough resident was walking home from school with a friend in the area of Haddon and West Coulter Avenues.
There, she was approached by a pair of men who asked to use her cell phone to call a friend for a ride.
The teen reportedly handed over her Apple iPhone 4S. Then, one of the men asked her to unlock the phone, which she did. She handed it over, and the pair allegedly ran off in the direction of Camden City with her phone.
The men were described as 5' 6" and 5' 10", respectively, and in their early 20's, according to the teenager. The incident occurred near the fenced-in area at the Mark Newbie school in the early evening hours.
The proximity of the theft to school grounds and the involvement of Collingswood students drew the notice of Superintendent Scott Oswald, said Collingswood Police Chief Richard Sarlo.
Sarlo said Oswald e-mailed him to ask whether the district should notify students and parents of an immediate safety risk, but that the department is treating the situation as an isolated incident.
"We have no other reports of a cell phone being stolen like this in Collingswood," Sarlo said.
"As disturbing as this is, it’s theft. We’re not treating this any more lightly because of it."
Sarlo said that the last known location of the stolen phone was near the intersection of Jackson Street and Mt. Ephraim Avenue in Camden; the phone was turned off shortly thereafter.