On Saturday I helped a victim of a grab-and-run iPhone theft. The victim was a lady who had been holding her phone out in front of her while riding public transportation, and didn't see someone come up from behind her to grab the phone just as the train doors opened at a station. The perpetrators were a group of high school students who, according to the police I talked to at the scene, have been stealing phones like this on a regular basis. I helped the victim call T-Mobile and use iCloud to disable her phone while the police were on the way. When they arrived, she gave them a description and the police found the criminals still nearby in the neighborhood. The police said the teens weren't used to getting off at this train stop and didn't know their way around, leaving them unable to vanish as they might do in their own neighborhood. At least one of the students was led away in handcuffs and the police recovered the phone and returned it to the victim. From theft to recovery took about 90 minutes. I think the victim was unusually lucky to get her phone back. Given Apple's iPhone security features, I know that it's not easy to use a stolen phone. Perhaps professional adult thieves ship phones to other countries, have sophisticated equipment to try to access the phone contents, or know how to salvage parts from a stolen phone. But it's hard for me to image that opportunistic high schoolers are doing these things, especially when they aren't smart enough to execute a successful getaway. So what ARE they likely doing with the stolen phones? Selling them to unscrupulous repair shops? Selling them online to people who don't realize that they're getting a non-functional phone? I'm just plain puzzled why they'd steal a phone rather than grabbing the victim's purse for the cash that's likely in it.