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Crime Iphone Cellphones Apple

Fighting the iCrime Wave 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the there's-an-app-for-that dept.
theodp writes "'What's the point of a mobile device,' asks WSJ reporter and iPad-beatdown-victim Rolfe Winkler, 'if people don't feel safe using it while they're mobile?' A lucrative secondhand market for today's electronics devices — a used iPad or iPhone can fetch $400+ — has produced an explosion in 'Apple picking' by thieves. So, how big is the iCrime wave? In New York City alone, 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 NYPD document. And plenty of the crimes are violent. The best way to deter theft is to reduce the value of stolen device — the wireless industry is moving to adopt a national registry that would deny service to such devices. A remote kill switch has been discussed as another approach. For its part, Apple says the company 'has led the industry in helping customers protect their lost or stolen devices,' although some are unimpressed."
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Fighting the iCrime Wave

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  • by BitZtream (692029) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:48PM (#40802553)

    Perhaps you should not live in some city where getting beat up over your iPad is something you need to worry about. You'll have to pardon me that I'm not giving a shit that you got mugged in NYC, its kind of expected.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:16PM (#40802741) Homepage Journal

    This is a good example of "cost based" business versus "value based" business.

    The "cost based" carriers see a stolen phone as more income - the thief will use it to make calls on the owner's account, and the carrier will see this as more money. So long as stonewalling/ignoring is more lucrative than the effort it takes to fix the subscriber's problem, that's what the carrier will do.

    (cf Cramming [wikipedia.org], which is another "cost based" practice.)

    In a "value based" model, being able to disable a phone, or tell the owner where it is, or even working with law enforcement to recover lost phones would be a value and a benefit to the customer. Unfortunately, this would require work on the part of the carrier with no obvious gain in revenue.

    (One would also expect that having the location of stolen goods and probable cause to enter and look around would be of enormous social value, but for some reason police don't see it that way. Few police will bother to recover a stolen phone, even if they know where it is.)

    In times past the primary purpose of a business was "get and keep a customer". Nowadays it's "make money in any way possible".

  • Re:I got one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oakgrove (845019) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:18PM (#40802765)
    You are scum.
  • It's only stuff (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:19PM (#40802771)

    Can't say I have sympathy for that twit who wrote that article who got the shit kicked out of him by these scumbags. He didn't HAVE to chase them, and obviously lacked common sense -- the average person challenges professional criminals at his peril. You never, ever know if the guy you're chasing is some crackhead who'll put a screwdriver through your temple.

    It's only stuff. Stuff can be replaced. Lives and limbs cannot.

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:30PM (#40802851)

    For nearly a decade, my neighborhood has seen people getting mugged for their iPhones almost nightly.

    Basically: there's a public housing complex 2-3 stops up the line. Our neighborhood has a lot of affluent 20-30 year old professionals, grad students, etc.

    Guess what? People who think the world Owes Them like an easy commute just as much as you do. They jump off the subway, walk up and down the street until they find someone, mug them, and run off - usually back onto the subway, or get picked up by a buddy a block or two over. In the time it takes to even find someone to call 911 for you, they could have walked several blocks and are effectively gone.

    Apple is unique in that their devices are managed heavily by iTunes and their online systems. A blacklist could be implemented within months - Apple has plenty of inhouse resources to make it happen. They'd rather sell you a new phone - every theft is a new sale.

  • Bullshit statistic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:51PM (#40802991)

    So, how big is the iCrime wave? In New York City alone, 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 NYPD document.

    So only ~20k thefts "involving a phone". How many involved an iPhone? How many of those were actually targeting the iPhone and not just a targeting a random person who happened to be carrying one?

    The number of robberies in NYC has been declining steadily since the early nineties. Where the city used to experience 100k robberies a year, they're now down to around 20k. In short, there is no "iCrime Wave". Just the same robberies that have always been happening, only now victims happen to carry more valuables.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @03:04PM (#40803073)

    For nearly a decade, my neighborhood has seen people getting mugged for their iPhones almost nightly.

    iPhone was launched in 2007. Its 2012. How long has your neighborhood seen this now?

  • I'm sorry but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving (1534307) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @03:05PM (#40803077)

    A company I worked for a few years back (before the bastards laid off the entire *building*) had a contract to provide tech support to apple. At that time, there was absolutely no policies for handling items declared stolen. Unless things have changed since then, I call shenanigans.

    Granted, they do now have that "Find my idevice" service, but thats a self serve feature that only works for the most recent generation of devices. You could just as easily use Prey, which works on all devices. IMO, they haven't done nearly enough to justify claiming they 'led the industry'.

  • Re:I got one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Grave (8234) <awalbert88@hotmaiFREEBSDl.com minus bsd> on Saturday July 28, 2012 @03:45PM (#40803309)

    Not only are you scum, but the original owner is likely just going to buy another iPad to replace the stolen one, thus giving Apple more money. Congrats on your failure as a human being.

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