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Police arrest 7 teens in iPhone metro thefts

Montreal Police are advising people against buying smartphones advertised through websites such as Kijiji.com, following the arrests of seven teenagers suspected of stealing the devices for sale online.

Montreal Police are advising people against buying smartphones advertised through websites such as Kijiji.com, following the arrests of seven teenagers suspected of stealing the devices for sale online.

Officers carried out 10 raids on Thursday in Montreal homes and high schools after weeks of investigations.

The suspects lived in different neighbourhoods but stole dozens of iPhones together, said Cmdr. Alain Larivière of the Montreal Police Metro squad.

"What affiliated them is that they played basketball together," he said. "They live in different neighborhoods, they go to different schools, but they would meet to commit those crimes. And they were really structured, because for example, they would sell the iPhones on Kijiji."

Larivière said anyone who purchases one of the stolen phones may find it won't work for long.

"What we try to do now more and more often is that we deactivate the phone, with the collaboration of companies, at a distance," he said. "So it's really not a good idea."

Police believe the seven suspects could be responsible for as many as 150 incidents, in which they allegedly would swarm commuters in the metro and force them to hand over their electronic gadgets.

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