NBC 4 New York
As Apple shatters sales records, Apple thieves are driving up the crime rate. Thefts targeting iPhones and iPads are up a whopping 40 percent in the city. Andrew Siff reports.
Crimes involving the thefts of iPhones, iPads and other Apple products have skyrocketed since last year, soaring 40 percent, police said Monday.
There have been 11,447 incidents so far this year involving Apple product thefts, amounting to a rise of 3,280 since last year, the NYPD said.
Compare that to the total number of index crimes this year: 79,335, which increased by 3,280 -- or 4 percent -- since last year.
The news wasn't surprising to Shaun Delacy, who lives on the west side of Manhattan.
"My sister got her phone stolen out of her hand when she was walking down the street," he said.
Delacy's sister, who got robbed in the Bronx, wasn't hurt, "but you feel like someone's invaded your personal space," he said. "Someone's taken something that belongs to you."
The problem is especially severe underground. As a result, the NYPD has been working with the MTA to hide decoy cops on trains and monitoring cameras across the subway system.
Last week, they also launched their Operation ID initiative, which enables police to trace stolen property and return it to their owner.
Under Operation ID, police register a phone's serial number along with the owner's name and contact information. Owners can also bring their Apple devices to any police station to be engraved with a uniquely identifiable serial number prefaced with the letters "NYC."
But because the products remain such a pricey in-demand commodity with a high resale value, anyone holding an iPhone remains a target.
"It's always a concern," said Eion Saunders of Mill Basin, Brooklyn. "Whenever [a new iPhone] comes out, it's a prime target for street crime.
Police urge Apple product owners to remain alert of their surroundings.