iPhone, iPad most popular devices among NYC crooks

Apple's mobile devices accounted for 18 percent of all grand larcenies in the Big Apple last year, says The Wall Street Journal.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The iPhone and iPad are chart-toppers among criminals as well as consumers.

The New York Police Department recorded more than 8,000 thefts of Apple's mobile products last year, The Wall Street Journal said late Sunday. That number is more than 18 percent of all the grand larcenies reported to the department in 2013. In comparison, there were only 25 grand larcenies involving Apple products recorded in 2002, a year after the first iPod debuted.

Thefts of Apple products now are so widespread that the NYPD tracks the brand. Many of these Apple product thefts occur on public transportation where people are focused on their devices and not paying attention to their surroundings, retired NYPD detective Joseph Giacalone told the Journal.

Finding the crooks isn't easy because many victims won't spend the time looking at mug shots, Giacalone added. Those arrested often plead down to a lesser charge to avoid jail time.

Apple's "Find my iPhone" app tries to help owners locate and lock a lost or stolen phone. It's a program that the NYPD encourages, the Journal added. Last year, the department also initiated a program called "Operation ID," whereby owners of mobile phones and tablets can register those devices at their local precincts.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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