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Police In Manhattan Warn Pedestrians To Remain Alert When Walking & Talking On Cell Phones

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- Police in New York City are warning people about the dangers of talking on their cell phones while walking down the street.

There's not a street in the city where you can't see people talking, texting or listening to music.

However, police in the Inwood section of Manhattan are reminding people to be aware of the people around you and avoid being attacked or robbed when you least expect it.

Authorities are passing out flyers to local businesses, reminding people that when they use a cell phone on the street, they make themselves a prime target.

"Usually I try to look up and make sure that while I'm multi-tasking one's watching me or I'm not being watched or something like that and that I keep moving," Synead Nichols told CBS 2's Kristen Thorne.

Police say don't walk around with your phone out for all to see -- put it in a pocket or purse. In addition they suggest using hands-free technology and turning the ringer off so it doesn't attract the attention of thieves.

Authorities cautioned that using an iPod or mp3 player with headphones while on the street -- even if hidden in a purse or pocket -- could still signal to a thief that you have something they can steal.

People say it is sad that police even have to issue such warnings.

"Technology is taking away all of our focus, but what can we do," Nichols said.

Do you walk, talk & text? Have you ever felt threatened or vulnerable doing so?  Tell us in the comments section...

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