If you own a handheld electronic device, or are expecting to find one under the Christmas tree this year, Transit Police have a warning for you.

Authorities say device thefts and robberies are on the rise, a problem Transit Police are trying to tackle with a new awareness campaign imploring bus and SkyTrain passengers to be smart with their electronic valuables.

“We’re talking cell phones, smart phones, iPads, iPods, tablets. It just doesn’t matter, they’ll take anything,” Const. Anne Drennan said.

The worst hit areas are in Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey, Drennan said.

There were 80 device thefts reported on TransLink property between January and October. Roughly half were sneaky thefts, police said, while the others were more aggressive, and sometimes violent, robberies.

For the new campaign, dubbed “Device Advice,” officers and transit attendants will be handing out small cards with theft-prevention tips and a phone number where passengers can report thefts or suspicious behaviour.

Police say the main advice for passengers is to be aware of their surroundings, fasten all bags and backpacks properly, keep devices out of sight and never lend phones or other electronics out to strangers.

Thefts, robberies and suspicious activity can be reported to Transit Police at 604-515-8300.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Maria Weisgarber