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NYC mayor blames theft of Apple devices for uptick in crime

iPhones and iPads are the preferred device target of many thieves in the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg notes during his weekly radio address.

iPhones are popular targets of pickpockets and thieves in New York City.

A surge in thefts of iPhone and iPads is responsible for a slight uptick in New York City's overall crime rate, according to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Apple's products were the preferred mobile device target of many thieves in the city, Bloomberg noted during his weekly radio address, according to the New York Times.

Statistics published by the New York Police Department revealed that as of Monday, there were 3,484 more major crimes reported in 2012 than for the same period last year. During that time, the city experienced 3,890 more thefts of Apple products.

"If you just took away the jump in Apple, we'd be down for the year," Marc La Vorgna, the mayor's press secretary, told the Times.

The NYPD announced in September that thefts of iPhones and iPads have increased 40 percent this year, compared with the same period last year. To combat the rise in iPhone and iPad thefts, New York City police have been running sting operations to catch people fencing stolen devices.

The NYPD has also launched a new service dubbed "Operation ID" to help owners find mobile devices that are lost or stolen. Because the loss of mobile devices is not limited to New York, the FCC announced earlier this year that it was working with the four major U.S. wireless carriers to create a centralized national database of lost or stolen cell phone information.

In addition, Apple recently filed a patent application for a theft detection system for smartphones that would sound an alarm if the device determined that it had been stolen.

In the meantime, the mayor also had some advice for people using mobile devices on the streets of his fair city.

"Put it in a pocket in sort of a more body-fitting, tighter clothes, that you can feel if it was -- if somebody put their hand in your pocket, not just an outside coat pocket," the mayor said.