iCrime is a serious problem in New York. In 2012 the NYPD reported 3,484 more major crimes than in 2011, boosted by an increase of 3,890 Apple-product thefts. Stolen iPhones and iPads have led to vicious beatings and even deaths! So the NYPD, which has been focusing on iThefts with subway decoys and "Find My Phone" training is upping the ante. Enter Law & Order: Apple Crimes Division.
As the Post points out, iCrime is now such a problem that the NYPD has "a team of cops" assigned to work with Apple just to get the gadgets back—even internationally!
Basically, the Big Apple's Apple cops are focusing on each iDevice's individual tracking numbers (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) which they then pass on to the California computer giant. Once provided with those numbers, Apple then gives the NYPD the device's current location—even if it has been wiped (crooks had already learned to avoid being caught with the company's "Find My Phone" feature by turning off the devices").
And so far the team appears to be doing okay, using the recovered devices to try and stop further theft.
One stolen iPad was tracked to the Dominican Republic and recovered with the help of an NYPD intelligence cop assigned to Santo Domingo. In another case, it busted a man suspected of selling stolen iPads at a city bus stop by tracking them with Apple’s help.
“We staked out the bus stop, ID’d the suspect and arrested him. We recovered the iPad,” said Browne, who noted 74 percent of all stolen Apple devices resurface within the five boroughs. Many of the confiscated devices are bought on the second-hand market by people who don’t know they were stolen.
What sucks for them is that the NYPD can, and apparently does, take those stolen baubles and return them to their original owners. Which is why it is good to be careful about where you buy your expensive electronics from. Bus stops are not Best Buys! Also, be careful with your stuff on the subways, people: