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iCrime: Crooks love the iPhone 5!

A crime wave is rolling across the U.S. as crooks try to steal the latest, greatest Apple devices.

And the recently debuted iPhone 5, it appears, has quickly become the smartphone de rigueur for thieves and robbers throughout the land, with the island of Manhattan perhaps the most fertile spot of all.

“When news came out that sales of the iPhone 5 were going to be huge, we thought, ‘Great, there goes our crime rate,'” said New York City police spokesman Paul Browne. If it weren’t for the 40 percent spike so far this year in thefts and robberies of Apple products, he said, the city’s crime would actually have dropped a bit compared with 2011. <emphasis mine>

“Just before the new iPhone came out, we had a record low in thefts for the year. It’s as if the criminals were waiting for the new version. After all, why steal an iPhone 4S when they can steal an iPhone 5?”

But let’s not forget the West Coast…! “We’re seeing robberies daily of all smartphones,” said San Francisco police spokesman Albie Esparza, adding that victims are losing iPhones, iPads and MP3 players as well as Android devices. “And whether it’s simple thefts, or robberies with force using a gun or a knife, nine times out of 10 it involves mobile devices.

“And,” said Esparza, “it’s increasing every day with people getting hit all over the city.”

Esparza noted that through the end of August, there were 2,374 robberies, and of those 1,199 involved cellphones! Apple products often top the “most stolen” list!

“And the bad guys are violent, too,” he said. “They’re whipping out guns and assaulting people for their phones. Then basically they do a quick turnaround and sell it on the black market somewhere in the city, where they make a profit and then go rob more people.”

“iPhones are more popular than Android devices,” said Officer Era Jenkins with BART police. “They’re also grabbing iPads, but it’s mostly the iPhone that people want to get their hands on.”

Jenkins said that in 2010, there was a total of 165 thefts or robberies of “electronic devices” on BART property; in 2011, that number climbed to 206, an increase of 25 percent; and as of the end of August this year, the number already stood at 235, with four months still to go.

Hayward police officers have already worked on 40 cases this year involving the theft of items identified as “Apple,” including the iPod touch, iPhones and iPads.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           In California, where victims are often unarmed and unable to fight back, (and where victims are glorified!) such thefts are sure to continue! (It always makes me wonder what would happen to the crime rate in California if the intended victims SHOT the intended robbers, instead.)

-Bill at

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