stolen stuff from car

We’ve always held that the iPhone can be like a drug, its users addicted to just one more app, just one more high score. Now comes word from the horse’s mouth, so to speak: criminals. Theft of the iPhone and other cellphones is increasing in popularity with criminals who once sold crack cocaine.

Turns out, a new twist on iPhone thefts can be more profitable – let alone, less dangerous – than selling drugs on the street…

Despite a criminal being able to pawn a stolen iPhone for about $100, a new wrinkle nets thieves “more than I can get for selling crack cocaine,” San Francisco, California Police Chief Greg Suhr tells the San Francisco Examiner.

Instead of selling the stolen phone, thieves now act as Good Samaritans, giving back the handset they “found” to victims. The grateful owner usually gives the thief $20 for returning the valuable item, more than what Suhr said a drug dealer can earn from selling crack.

Indeed, the police chief believes a rise in cell phone thefts could explain a drop in that city’s drug-related arrests.

If the advent of the Activation Lock in iOS 7 satisfied some law enforcement officials (including San Francisco’s District Attorney) looking to stem a rising tide of cell phone related crimes, criminals appear to be adapting.

iOS 7 activation lock

Along with the Good Samaritan ploy, which does an end-run around the need to sell a stolen iPhone, thieves are joining forces in ways that would make the Artful Dodger of ‘Oliver Twist’ proud.

San Francisco police say they’ve seen an increase in teams of thieves working together to steal cell phones from restaurant patrons or even bus passengers. In one instance, a man eating at Taco Bell had his phone swiped by a woman, who fled the store. When the victim tried to catch the thief, two accomplices blocked his way.

The thief was later captured by police.

The same trio attempted to grab a cellphone from a victim riding a city bus. Following a tactic more common on the NFL gridiron than the streets of San Francisco, the thief reportedly slapped the phone from the female victim’s hand.

While the victim was able to grab her phone off the floor before the criminals could reach it, police say the slapping movement is enough to startle a victim, giving the thief the upper hand.

Here’s an iPhone theft gone real bad as a security cam captures a teenager attempting to steal an iPhone 4 at an AT&T Store in Downtown Washington, DC.

All of this highlights several low-tech, but useful takeaways: don’t zone-out when talking on your phone. So often, people will carry on a conversation in public and not pay attention to their surroundings. Not only is this terribly annoying to people around you who have to put up with your insufferably boring talking, but it makes you vulnerable to theft.

Secondly, if your iPhone is valuable, don’t make it easy to steal. If you are a woman, put your phone in your purse, preferably in a zipped compartment. Also, think about adding a chain to your iPhone’s case.

As one former pickpocket told ABC recently, a cell phone is “the most frequently stolen item in the world today.”

Keep that in mind the next time you pull your iPhone out of your pocket in public.

  • Boss

    Simple carry a gun.

    • Ghost

      Once the thief saw it was ios 7 they return to station coz the iPhone they stole no value lol

      • Chindavon

        Naw. He accidentally stole an Android phone. They’re actually laughing at the thief the whole time. The video doesn’t show them letting him go and they can’t catch their breath still laughing so hard.

      • Joseph

        Unecessary stab at Android is unecessary. Stop being a troll.

      • You used “unnecessary” twice which means they cancel out which makes it very necessary stab at Android my friend 😉

      • Chindavon

        That’s how it works round these parts. You must be new.

      • Joseph

        Check my comments and rating. I’m sorry, but I don’t like people who resemble Christian and will do whatever it takes to fit an insult to another company or group of people in their writing. You must be new around here if you didn’t know that.

        In addition, please get it through your head that not everyone finds iOS satisfactory for whatever reason, and both OS has it’s perks. Tell me, what do you gain by insulting others who… use a different phone OS than you? I’d be inclined to tell you to get a life but you see to be an accidental troll.

      • Chindavon

        Check your sensitivity at the door son. If you get personally offended by every one of us yahoos (including you) on message boards, then you need to grow a really really THICK skin. And if you don’t like people that resemble Christian, then get off of this Apple Site. Look at the title of the top page!

      • Joseph

        You, because I’m not referring to Ed.

    • pegger1

      You’d rather kill someone or possibly be killed over an iPhone? You put absolutely no value on life. That’s the problem with the world today. You must be American.

      • Chris Wagers

        Yea if thieves starting getting shot and killed when they tried to steal things I think stealing would slow down a bit. Or there would be fewer thieves after a while. Just my opinion.

      • blastingbigairs

        Amen brother!!!

      • pegger1

        You really think that? If anything it’ll make the thieves more dangerous. They’ll strike before you even have a chance to react.

      • blastingbigairs

        In a perfect society the charge for robbery would be the loss of hands, rape would be the loss of a penis, and murder and pedophilia would be death. The sentence should be served in front of the victims (or families of the victims) the same day the person is found guilty in the court room. Although I am a gun supporter, dealing with crime this way would make me feel like I need a gun a lot less. Until then, my gun stays loaded in my nightstand.

      • Alex Rodriguez

        +1 I agree

      • pegger1

        An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

      • blastingbigairs

        And turning a blind eye to the problem, makes you a victim. Good luck with that.

      • pegger1

        Who said anything about turning a blind eye? Attitudes like yours are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
        That school office worker in Georgia talked down a gunman who showed up at the school loaded with guns and ammo. Not one person got hurt. If it was you involved it would have been a blood bath. Way too many gun toting yahoos with itchy fingers.

      • blastingbigairs

        The next time some armed thug breaks into your house and tries to kill you or your family, you go ahead and use your “gentle little lamb” logic with him. See you in the morgue dumba$$!!!

  • Eric



    “When the victim tried to catch the thief, two accomplices blocked his way.

    The thief was later captured by police.”


    I had my vehicle’s window smashed – my briefcase and laptop were stolen in a Parking lot that is owned by the City of San Francisco. Video cameras were present. I was only away from my vehicle for 15 minutes, I called the SF Police Dept immediately from my mobile phone.

    They told me they would NOT dispatch a Police Officer to take a report. They told me if I wanted an incident report for insurance, I would be able to go online and file a report.


    • pegger1

      The story didn’t say the thief was chased down. It only said the thief was later captured. The thief could have been caught robbing again.
      In your case, it happened while you were away from your vehicle, so the thief was gone. Who did you want the police to chase down? They have more important things to do. File your report. And don’t be so stupid next time, leaving your laptop in your car.

      • Eric

        @ pegger1 –

        Thanks for calling me “stupid”

        I guess I was stupid for having a certain expectation of safety and security, especially when parked in a City Owned parking lot that had surveillance cameras, not to mention I was only away from my vehicle for 15 minutes.

        Yes, I’m a very stupid man for trying to minimize my chances of being robbed, taking the efforts to hide my briefcase on the floor under my jacket.

        I guess next time I should just put my laptop on my dash with a flashing sign that says: “please bad people don’t steal me”.

        Well “petter1” I’m glad to have finally met a person that is not stupid like me. Glad to know you.

      • TeddyBearStand


    • Guest

      A crime happened and they would not write up a report? Probably don’t want it to be included in the statistics for the city. Or perhaps they don’t want to take off their military gear, put down their automatic AR15s and come down and write up a report.

  • seyss

    it had to be a nigger

    • pegger1

      ….that stopped the theft.

    • Please

      Please commit suicide. There’s no place in the world for scum such as yourself.

  • Rowan09

    Well I have an amazing story. My brother and his best friend got their iPhones stolen while working out at the gym from their lockers. The thieves were always stealing phones but didn’t know that they had jailbroken iPhones with the “I got ya” app which takes a picture anytime you try to use a pass code. It took their pictures and sent it to their emails. I still had my phone so we were able to find out who they were and even got their addresses. We visited them later that day and got paid for the phones. We didn’t call the cops on them because they were kids, but when they returned to the gym the next week one of them were arrested because he stole something else that same day. His accomplise lied and set up his friend when caught by the police. I guess once a thief always a thief but if you go into that lifestyle go down by yourself. If your going to steal make sure it’s worth less than $1000 or you can get some real time.