Eight Robberies Near Overton Park

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(Memphis) Thieves in the Memphis metro area are targeting more joggers at area trails and parks, but it’s not their running shoes they're after, it’s their iPhones.

The crime has been dubbed "apple picking” and in the last three weeks there have been eight robberies, many of them near, or in, Overton Park.

One victim is recovering from surgery after an attack left him with a broken jaw.

The problem has even gotten the mayor’s attention.

“I run here three times a week, every week,” said Annie Bober at Overton Park.

Bober perfers to stay light on her feet, so she keeps her cell phone at home, probably a good idea given the recent robberies.

One of the victims was Barry Roberson's friend, “He broke his jaw after he cooperated and gave him his phone."

Roberson who heads-up Breakaway Running says runners are concerned and angry, “We are all outraged and I know me personally, I hope they try to come after me.”

Police say the thieves are after iPhones.

“Apple’s resale value is much higher,” said Shane Abston with iFix Memphis.

Even at iFix Memphis, a place that fixes Apple products on Poplar, a worker found himself a victim.

Abston told us, “A couple of young kids came in, distracted us for a moment and took an employee's phone.”

The trend of stealing iPhones is called "Apple picking,” but the string of robberies at Overton Park is being called dangerous.

The mayor even responded to the latest attack of the jogger recovering from jaw surgery saying, “Really sorry to hear this. We are on this and will not let up until we get them.”

Roberson’s advice to runners is to try to run in groups, avoid isolated areas and put down your ear buds, because they can block your senses that let you know something dangerous is going on around you.

Police say of the eight robberies, three arrests have been made.

They've also stepped up bike patrols are Overton Park.


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