Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin said two cellphones were snatched from the hands of women talking on them while they traveled alone and remained unaware of their surroundings.
According to police, the first incident happened in the area of 28 Bell St. at approximately 1:50 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities said the second incident occurred less than an hour later at the train station.
In both instances, the victims reported a black male in a gray hoodie riding a bicycle rode by as the women talked on the phone and took it right out of the victims' hands.
Conklin said the erratic timing of the thefts has proven problematic for the police department, specifically in how they allocate resources to combatting the problem.
"They thefts will jump up and then we won't hear anything for two or three weeks," he said. "The thefts get a lot of coverage in the media, who get to use terms like 'Apple-picking,' but we're seeing burglaries and break-ins at a much more prolific rate and so that's what we focus on dealing with."
Conklin asked women walking alone to be contentious of their surroundings as they work on apprehending the suspects in the case.
Mark Hill, 48, of Main St., charged Tuesday afternoon with interfering with an officer/resisting.
Diego Ortiz, 26, of Main Ave. in Norwalk, charged Tuesday morning with illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under suspension and following too closely to a non-commercial vehicle.