[In the wake of rampant cell phone stealing in my area and due to zero media coverage, I thought of doing my bit and write a humble little blog post about it...]
Two methods by which they work:
1. As you are walking down the road merrily talking into your phone, they come by bike and whack you on the back. As this happens you fall to the floor dazed and your cell flies out of your hand and onto the road in front of you. The guys in the bike overtake you, pick up the fallen phone and speed away before you have the time to react.
2. A "well dressed" guy come along on a bike and asks you for your phone. He says he has to make a very urgent call and has lost his phone/no balance/no validity. When you give him your phone, he talks for a long while (oh! and very decently asking the person on the other side to make the call of course after an initial message or short call from your phone) till your guard is down and suddenly speeds of on his bike leaving you to bite the dust (yes, he keeps his bike;s engine running, an indicator that he's a thief)
Not much is know about the origin of these theives except that they are from the fishing areas of Chennai. They seem to have divided South Chennai into specific area where each gang operates. A reminisence of Viramani's time? Who knows...???