DUBLIN -- Students in the Dublin area have been warned to rein in their good Samaritan instincts outside their schools after police say two women asked for a teen's help calling their children then ran off with a cellphone, authorities said.

In two separate incidents at Dublin High School and Wells Middle School, police say two women in their late 30s approached students and asked if they could use their cellphones to contact their child, saying their own cellphones had died, Lt. Herb Walters said.

The student at Dublin High School allowed the women to use a phone, and they snatched it and drove off in what was described as a "beat up" white car.

In a separate incident at Wells Middle School, Walters said two women used a student's cellphone but then gave it back before leaving in a CLS550 Mercedes.

Though the descriptions of the women were consistent, police say they are not convinced the incidents are related or that they are actually the same people.

Also, police did not have a complete description of the women.

Both incidents were reported to Dublin Police, who say cellphone thefts are occuring in cities across the Bay Area.

"This is a safety issue," said Stephen Hanke, Superintendent for the Dublin Unified School District. "While we want our students to be good citizens, we also want them to be safe and listen to their instincts."


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Police say any student approached by strangers should not talk to them, and should leave immediately to call 911.

"Don't freely hand over your cellphone to strangers," Walters said. "We're not the only one. It's happening everywhere."

Contact Erin Ivie at eivie@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.