Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Many people don't think twice about using a smart phone or tablet in public but a British couple visiting Las Vegas learned doing so can make you a target for thieves.
Lindy Holston said she was trying to capture some picture-perfect moments on her iPad when the tablet was literally ripped from her hands near Fremont Street last Thursday.
"The guy came behind, just grabbed it, ran off and around the corner," Lindy said.
Her husband Alan was nearby and saw it happen.
"There's no way we were going to catch this kid," Alan said.
Lindy said she had just snapped a photo of a display. She was able to access a copy of the photo thanks to an application that copies pictures.
"It's only an iPad. I didn't get hurt," said Lindy. "But it's kind of annoying to be attacked like that."
Any smart phone or tablet user could be next. Look around and you'll find plenty of people paying attention to the screen - not their surroundings. Thieves can snatch the item and run. Lindy reported the crime to police but is frustrated as she waits to get her property back.
"I'm looking over my shoulder when I'm taking a photo," said Lindy. "I'm being careful of my bag."
Smart phones and tablets can cost hundreds of dollars and the thefts are gaining attention across the country.
Consumer Reports projected roughly 1.6 million Americans were victims of smart phone thefts in 2012, according to the organization's website.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said they do not track the specific number of stolen smart phones or tablets; instead, the crimes are generally grouped under the category of electronic property theft.
"The more devices out there, the more theft there's going to be," said Metro police spokesman Officer Larry Hadfield.
Hadfield said owners should be sure to keep track of their serial number, which can help officers locate property. Some apps can remotely lock devices. Lindy has an app that allows her to track the stolen iPad and she's shared the location information with police.
"We're not telling people to go out and track down their own device because obviously if it was stolen and someone has that, it may pose a risk to themselves," Hadfield said.
Lindy has some other advice for people trying to snap photos.
"Be careful," Lindy said. "Look over your shoulder. Have someone stand behind you."
Several cell carriers are in the process of creating a database of stolen smart phones. Just last week, attorneys general from more than two dozen states, including Nevada, called on the major phone manufacturers to address the thefts.
Lindy has a new iPad but still wants justice.