There might be a recession still lurking, but that doesn't mean robbers are going to steal just anything.
The whole point of stealing things is to get money for them. And, in New York, only certain smartphones appear to have any value.
The iPhone, for example, is coveted by certain nefarious actors. Droids and BlackBerrys, not quite so much.
I lean upon the reporting of NBC New York, which chatted with police in the more elevated (numbers-wise) parts of Manhattan.
The police told of robbers who demanded nice people's phones. When one produced an iPhone, they leaped upon it. When one revealed his or her phone to be a Droid, the pair of robbers allegedly said they preferred cash.
A third victim of the same duo--all the victims were reportedly students of Columbia University--also didn't have an iPhone and suffered a frightening search at the robbers' hands.
Naturally, these might be isolated cases of a pair of robbers with isolated perspectives. Equally naturally, NBC offered quotes from students who craved an iPhone or felt insulted that the robbers didn't want to steal their BlackBerrys.
Some might wonder, though, whether the robbers simply know how to use iPhones and find the other brands just a little to complex to operate. They wouldn't be alone, I fear.
However, an NBC commenter, Timothy Ritchie, offered a different explanation for this apparent robbing snobbery: "Probably NYU students."