Police Arrest 141 New York City Merchants in Stolen iPhone Sting

iphone 4s white side
The New York Post reports that a sting conducted by the New York Police Department last week targeting vendors suspected of selling stolen iPhones resulted in 141 arrests as the city works to cut down the market feeding on such thefts. According to the report, undercover officers approached workers at over 600 locations suspected of participating in sales of stolen iPhones and offered the devices to workers at low prices while stating that they had been stolen from their owners.

Undercover NYPD officers sold the electronics to merchants at more than 600 stores around the five boroughs this week — asking from $50 to $200 for iPhone 4s and iPad 2s — after clearly stating the popular gadgets were stolen, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

The sting — which nabbed clerks and workers at businesses such as supermarkets, barbershops, pawnshops and bodegas — began Tuesday and continued through yesterday.

“That’s our intention, to reduce the places where people who steal these things can go and sell them,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. “If someone is offering you an iPad for way below market value, you have to realize that it’s most likely stolen.”

iPhones are popular targets for thieves in New York and elsewhere, with an officer in one New York precinct reporting that in some months more than half of the reported robberies involve an iPhone.

The popularity of Apple's devices has not only driven an active market in thefts and resales of the stolen property, but also in counterfeiting. Apple has been targeting vendors selling counterfeit Apple products in New York City and elsewhere, seeking to shut down those companies making unauthorized profits on Apple's name with knockoff products.

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Top Rated Comments

trainwrecka Avatar
163 months ago
Stealing is wrong, but how is this not entrapment.
Cop: I have a stolen iPhone to sell you.

Criminal: That's fine, I'll take it to make money.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btpayson Avatar
163 months ago
Kill the market for stolen phones

It is time to create a law in the U.S. that is common in some (not sure how many) develop countries to eliminate the market for stolen phones. Currently in the US, when a phone is stolen, it is only deactivated and blocked by your carrier. If it were deactivated and blocked by all US carriers, then it would immediately collapse the market for stolen phones as the thief just wouldn't be able to sell for as rich a price. Eliminate the price premium and the thieves will not have as much an incentive to steal phones.

Just think how much money is invested into the law enforcement, reporting, and investigating into stolen phones. If the market for stolen phones can effectively be made unattractive, then all that law enforcement costs drop or can be applied to more important matters for society.

Australia does it pretty effectively and this is save consumers a tremendous amount of money because the number of phones stolen is dropping a staggering rates.
http://www.amta.org.au/pages/amta/The.Mobile.Phone.Industry.Statement
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
doubletap Avatar
163 months ago
and why don't carriers blacklist stolen devices? they should be held accountable as well for allowing the cycle to perpetuate even though they have the means to put an end to it - or least put a dent in it.

dt
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
163 months ago
This is awesome news. It's not just NYC but everywhere. There have been people MURDERED over an iPhone here in Orlando. I hope these people receive the maximum penalty allowed by law.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
163 months ago
Good. I know 3 people who were robbed, 2 at gunpoint, because these filthy people wanted their phones. Enough is enough. :mad:
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ferrous Avatar
163 months ago
I hope

I hope this will prevent someone from stealing my iPhone. I grew up with the notion that if you buy a known stolen item it is the same as if you stole it. :cool:
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)