Increased Theft of Apple Devices 'Driving Force' Behind Rise of Larcenies in New York City

According to new data from the New York Police Department (via The Wall Street Journal), the rising theft of devices such as the iPhone and iPad remained one of the driving forces behind the high amount of grand larcenies last year in New York City. In detail, the data showed that Apple products were involved in 8,465 thefts and made up for 18% of all grand larcenies in the city, which rose 13% overall in 2013 from the year prior.

Apple products are so popular among criminals that the NYPD specifically tracks thefts of that brand, officials said. In 2013, Apple products made up more than 18% of all grand larcenies—that is more than 8,000 devices, according to police. In 2002, there were 25 grand larcenies of Apple products, police said.

A spokeswoman for the company said Apple has "led the industry in helping customers protect their lost or stolen devices" since it launched its "Find My iPhone" app in 2009, which allows users to track a stolen phone and erase personal data remotely.
In 2012, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg released data showing that the theft of iPhones and iPads contributed to growth of the overall crime index for the city, as the police department recorded 3,890 more Apple product thefts than for the same period in 2011.

iPhone and iPad thefts continue to be a major issue for law enforcement, despite efforts to implement various theft deterrent programs. However, Apple's Activation Lock feature, which prevents stolen phones from being reactivated without an iCloud password, has received praise from various groups since its inclusion in iOS 7.

San Francisco district attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who have spearheaded anti-theft efforts, called Activation Lock the "world's first attempt to implement a technological solution to the global smartphone theft epidemic," while the police department distributed flyers near Apple Retail Stores encouraging users to download iOS 7.

The New York City Council also announced in November that it was considering a pawn shop bill that would require second hand dealers and pawn brokers to maintain easily accessible electronic records of purchased items, however the status of the bill is currently unknown. Notably, a national phone database established last year was found to be largely ineffective against smartphone thefts in the U.S., with law enforcement authorities even pressing smartphone manufacturers to build a kill switch into phones.


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80 months ago
Sadly, nobody in New York City seems to be any good at statistics, and they confuse correlation with causality.

Theft of Apple Devices is going up for the simple reason that there are more of them around. I bet not a single iPhone was stolen before 2007. I'd love to see the statistics for theft of hybrid cars; they must be skyrocketing since hybrid cars were introduced. By now they must massively outnumber the thefts of horse buggies.

The "rise of larcenies" in New York City is due to more people stealing stuff. And once they steal stuff, they steal stuff that is there.
Rating: 29 Votes
80 months ago
Tip: Cover the iPhone with a case that resembles Samsung phone ;)
Rating: 28 Votes
80 months ago
Happened to me last month. Apple should add the option to enter password in order to switch the phone off. This way Find my iPhone could still do it job.
Rating: 14 Votes
80 months ago
Hey, you know your product is successful when thieves want it.
Rating: 9 Votes
80 months ago

There are more Apple thefts because there are more Apple products around. Doesn't take a genius to work that out..

But I thought Android had all the market share and everyone was buying Galaxy's?
Rating: 8 Votes
80 months ago
Rating: 7 Votes
80 months ago

This means the thief cannot use the phone, nor the SIM, and he can't activate it either, as it is locked with my Apple ID.

I guess he could use it for parts, or jailbreak it...

Activation lock survives jailbreak.

Tip: Cover the iPhone with a case that resembles Samsung phone ;)

Because all the Samsung fans are too busy posting on MacRumors to go out on the streets in New York and steal phones :-)
Rating: 6 Votes
80 months ago

Sadly, nobody in New York City seems to be any good at statistics, and they confuse correlation with causality.

Theft of Apple Devices is going up for the simple reason that there are more of them around.

Incorrect. There is more demand for them in the second-hand market, there are more places to sell them (so you don't have to find a buyer since there are "buy an iPhone" websites), and they hold their value longer (you can still sell a 2011 4S easier than a 2011 Android phone).

Those are 3 very good reasons that make iOS devices easier to change into money than many other products.

I'd have no clue how to turn a car stereo into money but I can tell you a dozen ways to turn an iPhone into cash. When even non-criminals know how to fence and item, that's obviously a factor.
Rating: 5 Votes
80 months ago
I remember when GPS devices came out there was a similar crime wave. Thieves broke into cars that had the telltale windshield ring left from the suction mounts. Car stereos were a target decades before.
Rating: 4 Votes
80 months ago
"fueled by thefts of electronic devices"... spin, spin, spin. Half the job of statisticians in this age is an ability to paint the results with their masters' propaganda.

I'll give you the real dope: the devices are easier to steal, so thieves are switching from taking refrigerators, cars, grain silos, etc., and taking the super-expensive, light-weight things that are thoughtlessly left unguarded in public.

They need money. They aren't going to stop and starve merely because an iPhone becomes inaccessible or high risk. iPhones are merely convenient, plentiful fruit on the tree.
Rating: 4 Votes

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