LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Thefts of iPod MP3 players, high-end gadgets and other gear are up 34 percent from last year in Los Angeles.
The thefts make up for around 1,700 of the city's 8,000 total reported robberies, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
Authorities said that many of the cases are just simple street robberies where students walking to school or commuters waiting for buses are confronted and forced to give up their electronic devices, which can be worth in the hundreds of dollars.
Los Angeles Police Department officials have also said that victims and suspects tend to be young, with the majority of suspects between 18 and 25.
"No one used to report when their lunch money got taken, but if a child comes home without their cellphone or iPod, the family may report it," Deputy Chief Charlie Beck said. "IPods and their clones are becoming a highly desirable item among criminals. They are easy to sell."