Police Send Warning after Phone Snatching

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CLEVELAND -- Most people know about the dangers of talking on the phone while driving, but it appears that walking and talking can cause big trouble too. In fact, the person on the other end of the call may not be the only one paying attention to your conversation.

People walking and holding conversations on their cell phones is common on just about any street.

"I was just returning a few phone calls while I was walking," explained Izzy Schachner.

Around noon Thursday, Izzy Schachner had just finished doing business with the owner of Cleveland CycleWerks on West 65th Street. He says he was walking back to his car on nearby Detroit Avenue when three teens approached him.

"I had to walk in between them and as I did, one of them grabbed my phone out of my ear and started running," said Schachner.

He says he then ran after the teen.

"I just kept yelling 'drop the phone, drop the phone' and he kept running," he said.

"There's a kid just bookin', I mean just bookin' down the street as fast as he could and seconds later we hear 'hey stop!'" said motorcycle shop owner Scott Colosimo.

Colosimo jumped in his truck and joined the chase. He says other neighbors joined in too.

"He kept turning around and he saw that there were more and more people running after him and I gotta say, I think he just started running out of steam," said Schachner.

The teenager dropped the phone after running back to Detroit Avenue, but the chase didn't stop there.

"The kid really thought that once he threw the phone, that it was over. But the whole point is I wanted this kid. He needs to know you don't do that to someone," said Colosimo.

After getting his phone back, Schachner called police and snapped photos of the boy in case he got away. Moments later, two officers on patrol saw the commotion and arrested the 16-year-old and later grabbed the other two boys.

Cleveland police say this incident serves as a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings, even when you're talking on your cell phone. They say talking and walking can easily distract you and make you an easy target for criminals.

"It didn't occur to me before, but it's definitely something that I'll be a lot more aware of now," said Schachner.

The 16-year-old was booked on a robbery charge and release to the custody of his parents.

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