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

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Apr 12, 2001
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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.


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

Klae17

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
1,086
1,207
Hey, you know your product is successful when thieves want it.
 
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g0odfr1end102

macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2010
434
13
Montreal, Canada
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.
 
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Bhatu

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2013
167
85
Tip: Cover the iPhone with a case that resembles Samsung phone ;)
 
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Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,016
86
Happend to me as well whilst on vacation to NYC:( I can't help but wonder though; what is an iPhone 4s really worth to the idiot who stole it? It was in Airplane mode (it happend in JFK arriving in from Reykjavik), it requires a PIN to open, the SIM also has a PIN (even to use after airplane mode), and there is no data of any worth...

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...
 
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bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,754
Germany
Happened to me twice within 3 months but i live in Barcelona so this comes to no surprise. I got it back both times however, once the chick took it out of my front pocket while i was walking (she was really good!) but i had my case attached to my belt so i felt something trying to "get away" so i grabbed it back right out of her hand and the 2nd time i ran after the guy who held up 5 iPhones and asked which one was mine and gave it back (you could say those thieves are at least "polite" over here unless you run into those literal who**es at night)
 
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gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,699
3,440
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.
 
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gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,699
3,440
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 :)
 
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kiranmk2

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2008
872
363
Not completely sure activation lock will prevent thefts. on eBay uk there are plenty of ads for phones with activation locks. The only difference is they are selling for £150-200 rather than £300-400. Less money for the thieves but eBay and the Police should really be investigating these a bit more as even £150 is still free money for a phone thief.
 
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TC03

macrumors 65816
Aug 17, 2008
1,272
356
Not completely sure activation lock will prevent thefts. on eBay uk there are plenty of ads for phones with activation locks. The only difference is they are selling for £150-200 rather than £300-400. Less money for the thieves but eBay and the Police should really be investigating these a bit more as even £150 is still free money for a phone thief.
Once words get outs to the masses that activation lock = stolen product, you won't get £150-200 for it anymore as well. Well, not on eBay.
 
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Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
3,494
1,253
"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.
 
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DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,181
670
Once words get outs to the masses that activation lock = stolen product, you won't get £150-200 for it anymore as well. Well, not on eBay.
People who sell/buy these activation locked iPhones know they are stolen, but the sellers don't care (cause they probably stole them) & the buyers are only using them for parts (aka the screen).

Unlike a bad ESN which can still be used overseas, Activation lock makes the iPhone pretty useless.
 
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Jsameds

Suspended
Apr 22, 2008
3,525
7,985
There are more Apple thefts because there are more Apple products around. Doesn't take a genius to work that out..
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,052
24,828
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?
 
Comment

wikiverse

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2012
568
403
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.
Shhh. You're ruining the circlejerk.

Everyone knows that apple are single handedly driving up the crime rate so they can sell more devices. Profits don't come from people not having their phones stolen.

I wonder how many of these 'stolen' phones are actually just insurance fraud. It would be interesting to see if the crime rate goes up immediately after the release of a new product. Apple devices are just that desirable you know.

(That's how you circlejerk!)
 
Comment

pposthoorn

macrumors member
Apr 16, 2012
93
3
The Netherlands
The graph shows te following:

In red: the number of Apple thefts since 2005 rises steadily in a straight line.
In gray: the total number of thefts decreases from 2005 to 2010 and then rises from 2010 to 2013.

It doesn't take a statistician to conclude the total number of thefts is NOT influenced by the number of stolen Apple products.
Only conclusion one can draw from this figure is that more Apple devices are stolen each year, which is not very strange since Apple is selling more devices each year.
 
Comment

iapplelove

macrumors 601
Nov 22, 2011
4,918
6,680
East Coast USA
There are so many iPhones stuck on activation lock floating around the NYC area it's insane. And people who don't know any better buy them and get stuck with a stolen bricked iPhone.
 
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gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,699
3,440
Not completely sure activation lock will prevent thefts. on eBay uk there are plenty of ads for phones with activation locks. The only difference is they are selling for £150-200 rather than £300-400. Less money for the thieves but eBay and the Police should really be investigating these a bit more as even £150 is still free money for a phone thief.
How would you legitimately have an iPhone with activation lock? An obvious one would be inheriting one from a dead relative where the AppleId isn't to be found anywhere. Don't know what Apple can do if you have an activation lock on your own phone through stupidity, with proof that you are the legitimate owner.
 
Comment

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,902
1,164
Washington DC
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.
 
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