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