MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,534
15,253



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.

fifthavenue_hero_2x.jpg
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.

Article Link: Apple Working With NYPD to Track Stolen iPhones
 

litmag01

macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2009
318
219
Rapair and replace stolen units????

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?
 

eatmyjustice

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2008
41
4
Washington, USA
yeah... I was thinking "about time" too. I don't know the liability implications, but I think being able to locate your stolen phone with the help of local law enforcement would make a nice marketing blurb.
 

Arcus

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2004
710
318
of my hand will get me slapped.
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?

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.
 

Twimfy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2011
885
236
UK
Would be interesting to see how many stolen phones have been replaced by Apple as here in the UK most stolen iPhones go straight to eBay as IMEI blocking doesn't apply in some European countries.

An IMEI blocked iPhone sold as spares or repairs on ebay.co.uk will fetch just as much money as a fully working iPhone if you allow for european shipping.

Rule of thumb here is just to get it insured and if it goes missing, forget about it.

It would be good though if Apple did have a database just so they can flag up any phones which have been brought in by idiots brave enough to take stolen goods into a retail store.
 

Daveoc64

macrumors 601
Jan 16, 2008
4,073
87
Bristol, UK
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?

Because people have told Apple that the device is stolen and they have then gone on to let someone replace the device anyway.

This is a particular problem when Apple replaces a blacklisted device with one that isn't.
 

webbuzz

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2010
1,917
6,427

It appears that story is isolated to Sprint.

What has become a powerful tool for police hunting down bad guys and people who lose their phones or who call 911 has backfired on Dobson. An unexplained glitch with at least one cellphone company is directing people with missing phones to his North Las Vegas home.

And the glitch is also affecting police, who have twice been wrongly directed to his house on domestic violence calls. That has forced Dobson to post a sign on the front of his house telling people he doesn't have their phone.

The situation is one that has puzzled experts.

"That's crazy," said John B. Minor, a communications expert who specializes in cellphone tracking. "This sort of thing I've not seen."

The problem appears to be limited to some owners of Sprint phones. Company officials said they are researching the problem, which has forced Dobson to sleep near his front door on weekends so he can answer the door quickly at all hours.



http://www.lvrj.com/news/if-you-lose-your-cellphone-don-t-blame-wayne-dobson-186670171.html
 

rcappo

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2010
261
45
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.

There would need to be a way to transfer ownership of the phone that you could do on-line using both parties Apple IDs.
 

noteple

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2011
1,428
376
I worked at a major laptop repair center.
We kept a database of stolen laptops and noticed law enforce when required.

If a lowly paw shop can do the same in the US why can't Apple?

I say it's about time.
And it's only being done because some high profile equipment got pinched and LE would like some 'assistance'
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
4
PA
Don't like. Works sometimes but what if you purchased it on Craigslist or something.... You'd have to give something to the PD you paid for in a deal you thought was legitimate.
 

Nunyabinez

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2010
1,758
2,230
Provo, UT
Good luck with this. I had my son's laptop stolen from our car in Washington. We had a Cybernanny type product on it that would tell you when sites you designated were being visited. As soon as the laptop was stolen, we went online and set it to report any site.

Sure enough in a few days the laptop was online and we had an IP address. It had made its way to Oregon. We called our police and told them who the service provider was, what the IP address was on the day it was accessed, and guess what? Not a damn thing.

This is great that Apple is doing this, but the police would rather pull you over and ticket you for going 10 over the speed limit than find your stolen crap, even when you help them.

My guess is that in my case, this was part of an organized ring and following it through would have solved many crimes and prevented others, but, you know, that's a lot of work.
 

Intarweb

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2007
561
0
Apple should be able to track every single product at any point in time if it's called for. Each product has a unique identifier. This would cut the crime considerably. Report a theft to the police. Police verify you owned the phone. Police contact Apple to get tracking information. Police close in on thief.
 

Ryth

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2011
1,591
156
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.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,550
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.

I don't know how that works in the USA, but in the UK you would only get the phone back if the buyer was taken to court and convicted for theft. Which is quite unlikely to happen, and you may very well end up being convicted for "perverting the course of justice", which is significantly worse than a conviction for theft.
 

Buduls

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2011
27
4
I think it's about time GSM operator have a shared blacklisted device DB, like they do in European countries.
 

8ate8

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2010
61
1
Central Jersey
Hey guys, can you please resize your images for the news stories? All the large images are always squished and look out of proportion.
 

Lyiand

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2010
6
0
Aside from tracking by GPS, why can't Apple do something when the stolen iPhone is syncing with iTunes? When the iPhone syncs in iTunes, it also is kept track of centrally by Apple. This is how Apple re-locks your phone if you had jail-broken it. Also, if you unlock your iPhone with your carrier's permission, then they send the authorization to Apple and the next time you sync it through iTunes, Apple notices it's approved to be unlocked and processes it with an update. With this capability, they could easily brick the stolen iPhone.

I'll acknowledge the remaining issues are the proof of burden from the owner and ambiguity with selling it through a third market like eBay or Craigslist.
 

i-John

macrumors 6502a
Jul 14, 2008
676
61
The Republic of Texas
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?

Because they have the ability to track and know if the device is stolen, that's why.

It's the same as wireless providers, who are finally doing something. They are finally getting to a centralized database that all carriers can access and add to, and if a device is stolen, it can't be activated on any network.

Take away the incentive to steal, and the problem goes away.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
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.
 

TheNewDude

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2010
752
0
My iPad was recently stolen from my Hotel room. I wish I could utilize this and get my iPad back. I'm so missing it. :(
 
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