Apple Products Help Drive New York City Crime
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Apple products are hot in New York. No really, if you’re buying from an individual or found what you feel like is a great Craigslist deal, it’s likely the product could be stolen.
According to a Bloomberg report, and at the time of this writing, a total of 11,447 Apple products, ranging from iPads to MacBook Airs, have been stolen since January 1st of this year. This represents a 40% increase over the same period in 2011. Overall, crimes in the whole of New York City have increased as well, but only by 4% over last year, up 3,015 incidents to 79,335, according to the New York Post.
It’s a trend the police have taken notice of, as well, as officers were stationed at each of the 21 New York and surrounding area Apple stores during last week’s iPhone 5 Launch Day.
In addition to keeping the peace, these officers were also encouraging new iPhone 5 buyers to sign up for a new initiative to help return stolen iPhones and other important valuables to their rightful owners. Called “Operation ID,” the iPhone owner can provide the police with the serial number to their device. In the unfortunate circumstance that a ne’er-do-well tries to make away with the phone, the owner needs only to call the police. With the serial number at hand, the police can then begin tracking the phone, allowing them to return the device.
“The theft of Apple phones and other hand-held devices drove the spike in robberies and larceny this year,” said Commissioner Ray Kelley in a public statement.
“Operation ID will help those whose property is lost or stolen to get it back.”
As an extension of Operation ID, subscribers can also take their valuables, even iPhones, into a local Police station to have them engraved with yet another serial number for easier detection if the thief tries to resell these items.
One drawback for those tech-savvy iPhone owners: Though Operation ID utilizes some very modern tracking software, signing up for the program requires the antiquated pen and paper method.
Police are stepping up their level of awareness and efforts against Apple theft in New York City, but why are so many crimes being committed to the Apple faithful in the Big Apple?
“The victims are walking around…listening to their iPhones or reading them, not paying attention to their surroundings, and the perp just comes up behind them and snatches it,” said one unnamed police official speaking to the New York Post.
Furthermore, this official says these crimes happen so quickly the victim rarely has a chance to get a good look at the criminal, much less fully understand what’s happening.
“It happens in areas where you have affluent people who can afford these products — Midtown, Greenwich Village — and hipsters are among the targets.”
Commissioner Kelly also suggests any Apple carrier be aware of their surroundings, to notice what’s happening around them and keep their eyes outward rather than downward towards the Retina Display.
“Individuals alert to their surroundings are less likely to become victims of thefts of iPhones and other hand-held devices,” said Kelly in a statement.