OAKLAND -- Oakland and BART police are warning residents about an increase in robberies where electronic devices are being stolen from people dining at outside restaurants and cafes.

No one has been seriously injured during the robberies, which police said are taking place in busy commercial areas from downtown to north Oakland, including the Temescal and Rockridge neighborhoods.

People leaving BART stations who are distracted on their cellular phones are also being targeted.

Items including laptops, iPads, cell phones and even purses are being snatched from the unsuspecting victims.

A few arrests have been made, but police have not released the names of those people who were apprehended in connection to the robberies.

Some of the suspects have used weapons during the robberies, which police say have increased 24 percent during the past three months.

Oakland and BART police on handed out fliers Thursday with tips to avoid being victimized:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don't be distracted by electronic devices

  • While on BART, conceal electronic devices in backpacks, purses or briefcases.

  • When patronizing local businesses, don't leave items on tables where they can be easily grabbed.

    Police said officers have identified target areas and have put out extra patrols there. They also said they are working with some area community groups to improve safety.

    The fliers are also available on the OPD website at http://www2.oaklandnet.com/.

    Follow Natalie Neysa Alund at Twitter.com/nataliealund. Follow Harry Harris at Twitter.com/harryharris15.