Fighting the iCrime Wave
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.
Nabbing electronic devices isn’t new. But lately it is growing “exponentially” according to a 2011 report from the New York Police Department. The lucrative secondhand market for today’s niftiest handsets has produced an explosion in “Apple picking” by thieves. A used iPad or iPhone can fetch more than $400.
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.