iPhone and iPad theft in New York up 44% since last year

An iPhone being stolen from a backpack

Recent data from the New York Police Department shows that the theft of iPhones and iPads has increased by 44% since last year. From the beginning of the year to April 15, 1,196 iOS devices have been stolen, while 831 were swiped during the same period in 2011. These stats are surfacing shortly after a 26 year-old chef named Hwang Yang was shot and killed in the Bronx for his iPhone. His wallet was left alone, however. The NYPD advises against flashing your iPhone or iPad while on the subway, which is common sense for the vast majority of us, but a good thing to remember for those long trips when you're bored.

U.S. carriers have recently announced that they're working on forming a shared database of IMEI serial numbers of stolen mobile phones, which should allow them to remotely lock devices that have been blacklisted. While determined thieves are likely to find a work-around, the process will at least act as a deterrent to less-informed criminals.

I would be curious to see if this rise in iPhone and iPad theft is consistent across the U.S., and how it differs internationally. At the very least, let this be a reminder to have Find my iPhone installed and running - it has been known to save the day before. Our own Rene Ritchie was the victim of a smash-and-grab last fall, but do you know anybody that has had their iOS device or other smartphone stolen?

Source: New York Daily News

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

iPhone and iPad theft in New York up 44% since last year

8 Comments

My moms was stolen a few weeks ago at a Casino in Detroit. We saw where it was on Find my iPhone but don't have much faith that Detroit Police would do anything about it.

I had mine stolen out of my purse while I was on vacation at the Mall of America in October 2011. My assumption is that this person really was after my wallet, and my phone happened to be on top. Being that I have ATT, I was pretty much screwed, because they can't lock the phone down, or WON'T, and that person just turned it off and then wiped it when they got home.

Thats ridiculous i live in NYC and i heard about the guy who got shot for his iPhone i think as well common sense should be used when handling our iDevices and alot knuckleheads live in NYC so everyone please be careful i haven't had this problem but it has happened to my younger sister.....

Wish there was the ability to turn the the front camera on, and put the criminal all over the media. What worries me, sooner, or later with find my phone, someone will take the law into their own hands, and that will be dangerous. No property is worth getting hurt over.

I almost did. I was walking at night, listening to music on my headphones, my iPhone in my hand, when I happened to look at a wall next to me and see that I was throwing TWO shadows, instead of just one! I immediately stopped and turned. The guy who was coming up on me practically slammed into me, but he threw up his hands, turned on his heel and headed in the other direction.
Now I listen with one headphone, hide my iPhone from view, and carry pepper spray in the other hand!