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A 15-year-old girl was killed trying to get her iPhone back from a thief

A 15-year-old girl was killed trying to get her iPhone back from a thief
Rubi Rubio / LA Times

It happens everywhere you go. Someone approaches you and asks you for the time, so you pull out your phone to check.

The problem is that this is a common ploy for smartphone thieves. This is exactly what happened to 15-year-old Rubi Rubio as she was walking her 7-year-old sister home from school in Santa Ana, California, on Thursday, July 3.

When Rubi pulled out the iPhone that her parents had given her for keeping up good grades just the week before, the stranger forcefully took her phone and ran to a getaway vehicle, a silver or gray Pontiac, which a second thief was driving.

Rubi jumped onto the trunk and held on to the antenna briefly while the driver swerved erratically, eventually throwing Rubi to the pavement, where she suffered massive head trauma.

She was able to open her eyes one last time and say "Mom" before passing away from her injuries on Saturday, July 5.

Police have recovered the iPhone that was discarded by the suspects and brought in by a resident of Santa Ana. Police have not yet located the suspects.

The man accused of stealing the phone has been described by police as a Latino in his late 20s to early 30s. He has a medium build and is about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 and was wearing a black baseball hat, white tank top and light-colored jeans, the department said.

This senseless tragedy really tears at my heartstrings, especially since my son, Ian, is close to Rubi's age. You can replace a gadget; you can't replace your child.

Keep your family safe, and be sure to install security software on your phone. If sometime tries to steal your phone, let them. You can recover it with Find My iPhone, Android Device Manager, or Prey.

Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers go out to Rubi's family.

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