Prosecutors combine to fight smartphone thefts

While its no case of Elliot Ness against Chicago's rum runners of Prohibition days, prosecutors in two major U.S. cities are teaming up with local police to fight a wave of violent smartphone thefts. Law enforcers Thursday issued an SOS of sorts, or 'Save Our Smartphones'.

The announcement comes as Apple and other smartphone makers meet with the New York State Attorney General and San Francisco's District Attorney. It's unknown whether Apple's new Activation Lock feature unveiled during Monday's WWDC keynote as part of iOS 7 will be enough to satisfy calls for handset makers to create a kill switch to disable stolen smartphones...

Prosecutors cautiously optimistic Activation Lock in iOS 7 could curb urban iPhone theft

Apple's Monday announcement that its new iOS 7 would include an 'Activation Lock' comes just days before the iPhone maker is to attend a Smartphone Summit. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón say they await details of the new iPhone feature.

After being stung by reports that it is not doing enough to prevent a rash of iPhone thefts, Apple argued Activation Lock would prevent thieves from using a stolen handset...

Apple and others face questioning over stolen smartphone ‘epidemic’

First Apple and Samsung were sent an angry letter by New York's Attorney General over efforts to curb growing thefts of smartphones.

Now the state's top prosecutor wants a face-to-face meeting next week with representatives from Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft, saying they must find a way to solve what's being described as an "epidemic".

"It's time for manufacturers to be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday. But can handset makers really create such an effective kill-switch that would disable phones and cut thefts?

Apple and Google asked to help NYC solve mobile device thefts

Is Apple doing enough to prevent an upsurge in thefts targeting the iPhone? That's the question New York State's Attorney General is asking the smartphone maker, citing several violent incidents involving thefts of mobile phones. In a letter to Apple, Android-maker Google, Galaxy manufacturer Samsung and others, Eric Schneiderman wants details on what the companies are doing to prevent thefts of handsets.

The state's top law enforcement official noted thefts of Apple products in New York City between January 1 and September 23 rose forty percent while major crimes in the Big Apple increased by just four percent...

Is Apple doing enough to help prevent iPhone thefts?

Last fall, the U.S. national database for stolen cell phones went live. The goal of the database, which was a joint venture between several carriers, was to make it harder for stolen handsets to be activated on US networks.

But according to a new report, the database is having little effect on the growing rate of cell phone thefts. And law enforcement officials are starting to look at handset makers to come up with a technological solution...

Report offers inside look at undercover police operation to disrupt stolen iPhone trade

Earlier this year, it was reported that mobile phone thefts had climbed to 300 per day in London, with the iPhone accounting for over half of them. And we've heard similar numbers here Stateside, in major cities like New York and Chicago.

But police forces are beginning to fight back, setting up undercover units to try and disrupt the stolen smartphone trade. And a new report out this weekend offers an inside look at such an operation by the San Francisco Police Department...

NYPD creates ‘iTheft’ unit for catching iPhone and iPad thieves

We've reported on a number of stolen iPhone and iPad cases on iDB over the years. Apple's gadgets are both popular and expensive, making them the perfect targets for thieves looking for a quick score.

But those thieves better watch out if they ever find themselves on the streets of New York. The city's police department has assigned a team of cops to work directly with Apple to put a stop to these thefts...

Beware, thieves want your ID to buy iPhones

Apple's iPhone for thieves is like a bar of gold with earbuds. The smartphone has been blamed for a rise in urban crime, been the target of mafia heists - even fostered one iPhone owner to launch an online sting operation. Now comes word thieves have found a more direct route to your iPhone - your identity.

Identity theft is now the hottest way to buy an iPhone and stick you with the bill. The key is instant credit used by Apple to provide online financing to purchase an iPhone, Mac or other iDevice. The typical bill from ID theft of Apple products averages between $1,500 to $2,000, according to a fraud investigator who talked with Reuters...

Burglary at Microsoft research campus, only iPads taken

Here's a funny little story for your Saturday morning. A report popped up yesterday that Microsoft communicated to police earlier this week that there had been a burglary in one of the buildings on its campus in Mountain View, California.

The thief, or thieves, broke into 3 offices in Building 5 on the campus between December 19 and 26, when most folks were gone for the holidays. And — here's the funny part — despite all of the gadgets laying around, only iPads were taken...

NYC Mayor: iPhones thefts responsible for crime increase

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...

Find My iPhone, now with driving directions to lost devices

A small but noteworthy update to Apple's Find My iPhone software has just surfaced on iTunes. The iPhone and iPad app which lets you locate stolen or misplaced devices on a world map has gained ability to provide driving directions to your lost gear. This capability requires the new Find My iPhone app version 2.0.1 or later and iOS 6 or later. Apple has also enabled another tweak where Play Sound, Lost Mode and Erase buttons appear separately from the main map view. Unfortunately, the repugnant stitched leather theme is still all over the app...

FBI nabs ‘Dumbfella’ in $1.9 million iPad mini heist

It took investigators working on Thursday's snatch-and-grab - one that saw crooks drive away with two pallets of iPad minis worth $1.9 million - less than 24 hours to nab a suspect, a JFK Airport worker.

As Ed told you, two unidentified individuals used the airport’s own forklift to load the iPads onto their truck just before midnight Monday. The thieves operated in the same cargo area where director Martin Scorsese filmed a Lufthansa flight heist in the 1978 mob flick “GoodFellas”.

The Bureau was able to apprehend airport worker Renel Rene Richardson on the grounds that he made suspicious inquiries to co-workers about the gadget shipment and where forklifts might be found. What a "Dumbfella"...