New York City's war on crime has been largely effective over the last decade, with one major exception: iPhone theft. While most major crimes were down, grand larcenies involving phones, and Apple's phone in particular, have remained nearly unchanged. So far, so not so good, according to Alison Fox of the Wall Street Journal:
Apple products are so popular among criminals that the NYPD specifically tracks thefts of that brand, officials said. In 2013, Apple products made up more than 18% of all grand larcenies—that is more than 8,000 devices, according to police. In 2002, there were 25 grand larcenies of Apple products, police said.
iOS 7 — with it's enhancements to Find my iPhone and brand-new Activation Lock feature — was only available for the last 3 months of 2013, so this year will be a better indicator of technological progress. Anything else, short of a small, explosive, self-destruct come to mind as a better deterrent?