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Apple Working With NYPD to Track Stolen iPhones

Apple is working with the New York City Police Department to locate stolen iPhones and iPads, a radical change from the hands-off approach that the company employed previously. The NYPD estimated that the theft of Apple products accounted for a significant rise in crime in the Big Apple, with more than 3,890 reported thefts of Apple products in 2012.

Fifth Avenue Retail Store
Reports The New York Post:
Every time an Apple device is stolen, detectives attempt to get tracking numbers from the victim or online records.

That number, known as the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity, is then shared with the officers in Police Headquarters who pass it on to Apple.

The California-based company then informs the NYPD of the device’s current location — and it can track it even if it was reregistered with a different wireless provider.
Apple has been criticized in the past for not having a centralized database of stolen devices and for even repairing or replacing stolen units under warranty. It isn't yet known if this is a new program that any police department can use, or if it is only applicable to the NYPD.

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
About time.
Rating: 15 Votes
24 months ago

How is apple to know if a unit was really stolen or if it was something else?


Why report your stolen car to the police? How are the police to know if a car was really stolen or if it was something else?
Rating: 8 Votes
24 months ago

Was thinking the same.

1. Sell phone on craigslist , cash deal
2. Report phone stolen , call cops.
3. Get phone back.
4. ????
5. Profit but dam thats a crappy thing to do.


That's why you keep a copy of the craiglist ad and their email. Heck I even sometimes have them sign a piece of paper stating I sold something to them or they sold something to me if it's an electronic device.
Rating: 3 Votes
24 months ago
in the USA nothing is officially stolen until you go to the police station and fill out a police report, under penalty of perjury

lots of people seem to think they should just be able to go to an apple store and have their story believed on the spot
Rating: 3 Votes
24 months ago

Was thinking the same.

1. Sell phone on craigslist , cash deal
2. Report phone stolen , call cops.
3. Get phone back.
4. ????
5. Profit but dam thats a crappy thing to do.


Person arrested shows cops ad and emails. Lawsuit and arrest for the false report.
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago

Why criticize Apple for repairing or replacing stolen units? How is apple to know if a unit was really stolen or if it was something else?


Why criticize Apple for repairing or replacing stolen units? How is apple to know if a unit was really stolen or if it was something else?


I think the issue is that Apple wouldn't establish a "blacklist" of phones reported by owners to be stolen. In the past someone could steal an iPhone, take it to the store and have it replaced as-if they were the rightful owner, rather than Apple seizing the phone and informing the police.

By contrast, take a stolen credit card. If you try to use a card reported as stolen the merchant will seize the card and forward it to the bank issuer. They don't just refuse the charge and let the person keep the card.

Another example, would be a car. Take a reported stolen car to a dealer for repair. The dealer doesn't fix the car and give it back to the thief, an employee notify's the police.

Was thinking the same.

1. Sell phone on craigslist , cash deal
2. Report phone stolen , call cops.
3. Get phone back.
4. ????
5. Profit but dam thats a crappy thing to do.


Sure, but that is called fraud and filing a false police report and I'm sure whoever you sold the phone to would be more than happy to cooperate w/ the police. Have fun paying the fine and/or sitting in jail. We'll worth the possibility of pocketing a couple hundred bucks, right.
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago

Nope, hotels always say they not responsible for valuables, even if you put it in the safe in the room.


I spend 90% of my time in hotels (hello fellow consultant). Even though the disclaimer says that hotels are not liable, most hotels that value their customers do replace stolen goods within reason. A colleague of mine had his laptop replaced by a hotel.

In the grand scheme of things, a $500 iPad is much better than the hotel reputation being tarnished, and nothing is worse than developing a reputation of beign unsafe, just check out tripadvisor.com and see how hotel managers respond to negative reviews, it's all about reputation in this internet world :)
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago

Was thinking the same.

1. Sell phone on craigslist , cash deal
2. Report phone stolen , call cops.
3. Get phone back.
4. ????
5. Profit but dam thats a crappy thing to do.


You didn't finish the list.

6. Get caught for filing a fraudulent police report.
7. Plea guilty
8. Pay fine and perhaps do a little time in country.
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago
Man, when my BMW was stolen BMW didn't do anything. They didn't replace my car. What a crappy company.
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago

Theft is great for Apple. Every time one is stolen Apple gets to sell a replacement.

Apple could eliminate this problem overnight. If the phone could be remotely "bricked" some internal fuse is blown that renders the iPhone useless until you send it back to Apple for repair. No one would take a phone if they know it would be useless in a day or two.

I think Apple sells more phones because of theft


It always amazes me when I read assumptions like this. This is so far from the truth its ridiculous.
Rating: 2 Votes

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