NYC Mayor: iPhones thefts responsible for crime increase

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That iPhone you’re carrying on the New York City subway, well someone else likes it: thieves. Indeed, the Apple device is so popular with Big Apple thieves the mayor is blaming the gadget for a rise in the city’s crime rate. Mayor Michael Bloomberg told his radio audience some tactics for preventing your iPhone becoming the 3,891st Apple device stolen in 2012. Among the suggestions: tight clothes…

The New York Times quotes Bloomberg advising his radio audience:

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.

If thefts of Apple devices were removed from New York City’s crime stats, the Police Department’s major crimes – which includes robbery – would be down, according to the mayor’s press secretary.

A prime hunting ground for iPhone thieves is the city’s subway system, where criminals can quickly snatch and grab as people enter or exit trains. The crowds and easy exits are perfect for making a clean getaway, the NYPD told the Times.

This isn’t the first time thefts of Apple devices have made headlines. Earlier this year, $1.5 million worth of iPads were stolen from a JFK airport warehouse before the tablets could be shipped to their owners.

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In 2011, iPhone thefts comprised 70 percent of all cell phones stolen in New York City and half of all thefts there, according to the New York Daily News.

One NYPD source told the New York Post carrying an iPhone was “like walking around with a $500 bill”.

Where are stolen iPhones sold?

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Apparently, many wind up in New York City stores. During a 2011 sting, police found the smartphone selling for between $50 and $200.

Bloomberg is not the first to offer advice on ways to prevent your iPhone winding up in the hands of thieves.

Along with etching your device with identifying information, a number of stolen iPhones have been traced using Apple’s Find My Phone application, a free download from the App Store.

But as the story of one New Jersey iPhone owner who traced his device to a thief still talking on the stolen smartphone illustrates, you might want to call police before yelling “gotcha!”

Hopefully thieves are off the grid and aren’t reading this.

Has your iPhone ever been stolen and did you have luck locating it via Find My iPhone?