By Andrew Chow, JD
So far this year, NYPD officers have taken a bite out of more than 79,000 crimes, according to New York’s WABC-TV. More than 11,000 of those crimes — about 14 percent, or nearly one in seven — involved the theft of an iPhone, iPad, or another Apple product.
How do these iThefts typically occur?
They usually happen when victims are distracted or not paying attention to their surroundings, police say.
Many thefts take place on public transit, which can allow criminals to make an easy getaway, as seen in this NYPD video about smartphone and tablet thefts:
And it’s not just theft — the taking and carrying away of another person’s property without permission. Apple products are also being increasingly targeted in home and business burglaries, police say.
Investigators have also seen a big spike in iPad and iPhone robberies – and the use of force or fear to commit theft. So far this year, victims have reported nearly 1,000 robberies linked to Apple products, the NYPD reports.
To prevent smartphone and tablet thefts, the cybergurus at CNET offer these tips:
• Keep your devices out of view or concealed while in public.
• Don’t leave your devices unattended inside parked vehicles.
• Download the free “Find My iPhone” app to locate lost or stolen devices. (It’s so easy to use, an 8-year-old in Tennessee used it to catch an iPad burglar.)
• Download an app that can secretly snap a photo of a thief, which could aid in prosecution.
• Record your devices’ serial numbers. Some have a 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity number (IMEI), which can potentially be used to prevent a device from connecting to a cellular network.
For more information, visit www.findlaw.com.
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