iPhones Blamed for N.Y. Crime Wave
By Jennifer LeClaire / Mobile Tech Today. Updated December 29, 2012.
Crime is on the uptick in New York -- and the mayor is pointing a finger at Apple. Indeed, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, owners of Apple iPhones and iPads are frequent victims of theft.
The New York Police Department recorded 3,484 more major crimes through last Monday than it did during that same period in 2011. But the NYPD drilled it down to the Apple level to reveal a marked increase in iPhone and iPad product thefts.
Specifically, criminals swiped 3,890 more iPhones, iPads and other Apple products this year than they did last year. When you do the math, it's easy to see how Bloomberg could suggest Apple products are driving crime in the Big Apple.
"If you just took away the jump in Apple, we'd be down for the year," said Marc La Vorgna, the mayor's press secretary, according to The New York Times.
Put It in Your Pocket
During a radio address, Bloomberg said Apple products appeared to be the preference for many crooks, the Times reported. NYPD didn't even take into account thefts of competing smartphones and tablets. Bloomberg also offered some advice for New Yorkers:
"Put it in a pocket in sort of a more body-fitting, tighter clothes, that you can feel if it was -- if somebody put their hand in your pocket, not just an outside coat pocket."
To help combat iPhone (and other smartphone) theft, NYPD has launched Operation ID, a free service that encourages consumers to register the serial number of valuable portable electronics along with the their name and contact information. Items can also be engraved with a uniquely identifiable serial number prefaced with the letters N.Y.C.
2011 U.S. Phone Losses: $30 Billion
According to NYPD, there are several benefits to the program. The marked property is more difficult to sell; stolen property in the possession of a thief is easily traceable to its rightful owner; and registering property with the NYPD could help bring about its return if it is stolen.
NYPD points to research that reveals Americans lost $30 billion worth of cell phones in 2011. Authorities also noted that electronics such as cellular phones are the most common types of stolen property in New York, even more than currency, accounting for 81 percent of all electronic-device thefts.
"Remain alert and aware of your surroundings when using your device, don't leave your device unattended and always use the security features of your phone -- PIN lock, Find My iPhone, etc.," said Raymond Kelly, NYPD police commissioner.