While hundreds of techies eagerly waited to buy their iPhone4s as soon as the new design hit stores, thieves waited too.
NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox said incidences of subway cellphone theft have ballooned since the iPhone4 was released in June 2010, according to The New York Post.
Overall, electronics have become an increasing share of all items stolen underground over the last three years.
Though crime statistics suggest a general improvement in subway safety, the NYPD is bolstering its transit staff, adding both more uniformed and decoy officers, in hopes of curbing the rampant phone theft.
Just 12 days ago, an 81-year-old man waiting for the J train in Williamsburg was pushed onto the subway tracks as he chased a teenager he says stole his iPhone. The elderly man ended up OK and police arrested the teenage suspect and his accomplice involved in the theft a few days later, but police aim to prevent such incidents from reaching that point altogether.
"We're hoping more individuals snatching cellphones take a moment to think if that person on the train next to them is a decoy officer," Fox said.
So far, the boosted subway police force appears to be doing the job. Arrests overall are up in the first month and a half of 2012, particularly in the area of grand-larceny busts, which include cellphone thefts, reports the Post.