The NYPD announced that a man on a 4 train had been arrested "after he allegedly lifted an iPhone from a plainclothes decoy police officer’s backpack Sunday," according to WCBS 2.

Raymond Rodriguez, 47, was arrested at 3:15 p.m. at Grand Central station and was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. WCBS 2 also reports, "Police say Rodriguez has 27 unsealed prior arrests, including for assault, robbery, burglary, grand larceny and possession of stolen property, as well as drug-related offenses."

iPhones have been a popular target of thieves, especially thieves working mass transit. A police officer just chased an iPhone thief into a subway tunnel and there's a mugger in Morningside Heights who only wants iPhones (you've got something to smile about, Blackberry folks!). The police have been trying to increase the number of undercover cops on subways to thwart the thieves, but the NYPD says you can help by keeping these tips in mind:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Thieves may be watching you.
  • Use your cell phone security lock.
  • Avoid becoming distracted by your cell phone conversation when walking on the street.
  • Keep your cell phone out of site. Don't hang it from your purse or jacket.
  • Switch the ringer off to avoid attracting the attention of thieves.
  • Never loan your cell phone to a stranger. In case of an emergency, offer to make the call for them.
  • Consider using hands-free technology.
  • If your phone is lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to your cell phone service provider and the police.

Some stolen phones have been recovered thanks to tracking.