The Department of Education's ban on phones went from a nuisance to a nightmare for some Bronx high school students yesterday. That's because a trio of armed thugs went and held up a truck where they'd dropped off their phones for the day. On the bright side, now all those kids can enjoy their summer vacation free from the harsh burdens of staying caught up with technology! Maybe they'll build a tree fort or something!

Like students at many schools, the kids at Christopher Columbus High School in Allerton have gotten in the habit of, for a $1 fee, dropping their electronic devices off for the day at mobile storage trucks outside their school. It isn't perfect, but it means they don't get in trouble for bringing their gadgets into class and (normally) can have them again right afterwards. But yesterday, a little after 11 a.m.:

The thugs rolled up on the Safe Mobile Storage truck at the corner of Bronxwood and Astor avenues in a silver Honda Civic, said owner Harold Richardson.

Two men knocked on the roll-up rear door of the converted U-Haul van.
Workers Maggie Miranda and Pedro Serrano opened the door, and they “stuck a gun to Maggie’s head” and jumped inside, Richardson told The Post as the two still shaken-up workers nodded. "They threw them on the floor, tied them up with red [duct] tape, took the phones and the money," Richardson said.

Apparently the thieves got off with a few hundred phones and cash. And though another company's mobile phone storage truck was parked nearby, the driver swears he didn't see anything.

"They took my iPhone and my iPod Touch," one 18-year-old student said after the robbery not remembering he could always try and track the device with Find My iPhone (though that might have its own problems what with the armed robbers). "My mom is going to clap me—she’s going to kick my ass!"

The company's owner tells the Post that his insurance covers the loss of the phones, but that isn't going to get any of those kids their toys back anytime soon. Maybe this experience will help the city come to grips with the fact that students toting cellphones is a trend that is not going to go away anytime soon?

As another student put it after the phones went poof: “We really need scanners...but they need to know the difference between a cell phone and a knife. How could I call my mom and say, ‘Mom, I’m being robbed!’ if I don’t have a cell phone?”