The FCC revealed last spring that 40 percent of all major city robberies now involve smartphones, but New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said over the weekend that same figure now applies to Apple product-related thefts in New York City. And The Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler should know first hand, as he was attacked recently while toting an iPad in Brooklyn.
We were buried in an e-book when the subway doors opened at the Bergen Street stop in Brooklyn. In a flash, a pair of hands dove into my date’s lap and ripped away her iPad. Chasing the guy was instinctive. But he had a crew backing him up that I never saw. Instead of winning back the iPad, I found myself lying on the platform bleeding, my jaw split in half.
Winkler then cited a 2011 report from the New York Police Department to detail what he dubbed as “iCrime wave” statistics:
How big is the iCrime wave? National data aren’t available, but in New York, there were more than 26,000 incidents of electronics theft in the first 10 months of 2011—81% involving mobile phones—according to an internal police-department document. In Washington, D.C., cellphone-related robberies jumped 54% from 2007 to 2011, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. And the data may drastically undercount thefts. Since many don’t involve violence, many victims don’t bother reporting them.
Major theft of Apple devices is not limited to New York, however. In May, one notable woman, now known as the “iThief”, stole over 100 iPads across Texas-based Walmarts. The retail giant even caught her on video—check it out. Retail crime is not as menacing as violent ones, though, such as the case from earlier this month, where several masked assailants carrying assault rifles overtook a truckload of Apple products passing through Aulnay-sous-Bois in Paris.