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iPod: This Season's Must-Have for Muggers 993

KH writes "West Midlands police have issued a stark warning to iPod users: ditch the white headphones or pay the price." Apparently, muggers recognize the headphones and target passersby for muggage.
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iPod: This Season's Must-Have for Muggers

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  • Mugging (Score:4, Funny)

    by panxerox ( 575545 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:12PM (#8719285)
    Well people will kill each other over sneakers so to mug for an Ipod doesn't surprise me. From the article: "The Sun quotes one iPod representative as saying: "There are guys who?d rather be robbed than change the color of the headphones." " = Darwin strikes again.
    • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

      by sTalking_Goat ( 670565 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:16PM (#8719335) Homepage
      I'm going to buy some white headphones for my 4lb 1996 Sony Discman. Maybe finally I'll get a chance to try out this new tazer I bought on Ebay...
      • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hambonewilkins ( 739531 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:35PM (#8719603)
        You've obviously never been mugged. It's not something to look forward to.
        • by Letter ( 634816 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:40PM (#8719671)
          Dear Hambone,

          This is a Slash-mugging! Close your browser and give me your laptop!


        • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

          by Rallion ( 711805 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:43PM (#8719696) Journal
          In all seriousness, I'd love a chance to really try out a tazer, even if it involved getting mugged. Really.

          "Give me your--"

          *bzzt* *thud*

          • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

            by selfabuse ( 681350 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:48PM (#8719773)
            just so long as his next words weren't going to be "license, registration and proof of insurance"
          • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

            by Snocone ( 158524 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @07:27PM (#8720199) Homepage
            Here's an easy way to get the same effect.

            1) Locate a dairy farm that uses electric fences to restrain cattle. You can tell it's an electric fence because it's one thin strand of wire at waist height strung through plastic insulators on the fence posts, and the cows are giving it a rather wide berth.
            2) Walk up to the electric fence.
            3) Whip out your dick.
            4) Piss on the electric fence.

            This, I posit, will remove *all* further desire on your part to play with high voltage electricity. For that matter, it will take a fair while afterwards for you to regain ANY "desire" to "play", if you know what I mean and I think you do.
            • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

              by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `reggoh.gip'> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:36PM (#8721581) Journal
              2) Walk up to the electric fence.
              Some 30 years ago, I spent the summer on a farm. Trying to get the best of the city boy, the redneck told me to have a grab at the electric fence. I walked to the fence, and made it look I had a really good grip on the wire by wrapping my hand around it, but not touching the wire itself.

              I stood there, taking my best innocent air, and staring at him like saying "now what"???

              He was puzzled, got off the tractor, and walked straight to the fence which he touched pretty intently.

              At that very moment, the relay decided to send a good charge which sent the redneck something like 3 feet up in the air, landing on his ass in the freshly ploughed field.

              He said nothing at all, and never played smartass again with me...

        • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

          by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:51PM (#8719802) Homepage Journal
          You've obviously never been mugged.

          mugged? i thought the only people who ripped off apple was microsoft.

        • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

          by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @07:17PM (#8720092) Homepage
          You've obviously never gotten a joke. It's something to look forward to.
    • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

      by Liselle ( 684663 ) * <`slashdot' `at' `'> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:16PM (#8719343) Journal
      Well, I guess that's one advantage of the iPod's high price. Since I'm not the type to carry around $400 in cash, I bought it with my CC, and that gives me a bit of theft protection. :P
    • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sben ( 71467 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:18PM (#8719370)
      The Sun quotes one iPod representative as saying: "There are guys who'd rather be robbed than change the color of the headphones."
      Or, some of us would rather not base our lives around media fearmongering.
    • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

      by lazuli42 ( 219080 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:25PM (#8719470) Homepage Journal
      Changing the color of the headphones won't help much. Muggers will just start targeting joggers that wear Blueberry, Tangerine, Lime, Grape, Stawberry, or Bondi Blue headphones.

    • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:26PM (#8719476) Homepage Journal
      So basically people just want to show off - its expensive, and they want to demonstrate that they have a real iPod, not some cheap knock-off player. Pitching to peoples pride an narcissism has always been a marketing winner - that's why distinctive headphones are so good.

      Compare this with cellphones - the status is in how small they are. Hard to show off how small something is: if it's really small it hides invisibly in your pocket. Personally I think this is where a lot of the whole "Digital Camera on a cell phone" came from... it's a new status symbol element showing off how expensive your cell phone is, but it's quite easy to show off - just go around taking pictures of everything.

    • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cioxx ( 456323 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:35PM (#8719617) Homepage
      I'll be damned if this isn't true. Prior to Apple introducing the White in-ear headphones [], iPod users were buying Japanese imported Sony MDR-EX71SL [] headphones at really high premiums just so they didn't have to wear the black variety which is available in the states.

      White headphones are like a status symbol now. I'm not sure if it's sad or funny.

      (Full Disclosure: iPod + white headphones managed to brainwash me also)
    • Re:Mugging (Score:5, Funny)

      by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) <> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:52PM (#8719804) Journal
      Lol. They should add this to those commercials...You know, shadow of a person dancing around with white headphones...Shadow of another person sneaking up on them...Wham! Talkin 'bout my generation!
  • mugging (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:13PM (#8719299)
    thats how i got mine :)
  • That's why (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:13PM (#8719301)
    I keep the mini-iPod in a ... hidden place... that's very snug. Muggers never look there, and really, who wants to pull the cord out of there?
  • by The I Shing ( 700142 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:14PM (#8719308) Journal
    This iPod-carrying bon vivant isn't going to hand over his beloved music player without a fight.

    I've hacked my iPod to shoot pepper spray! Ha!
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:14PM (#8719312)
    iPod -- with LoJack!
  • by meshmar ( 11818 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:14PM (#8719314) Homepage
    let a mugger have it and have your insurance buy you a replacement.
  • Muggage? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:14PM (#8719315)
    Dude, I'm, like totally understanding of your verbage, but, like, there might not be others, that, like, know.
    But rock on, Dude! Awesome!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:14PM (#8719317)
    How about an iMace accessory?
  • muggage? (Score:4, Funny)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:15PM (#8719321)
    target passersby for muggage

    eh? 'excuse me sir, I noticed you passing by and wondered if you'd like some hot, sweet muggage. only $1 a bowl.' :)
  • hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by BattleTroll ( 561035 ) <> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:15PM (#8719322)

    Mugger: "Your I-Pod or your life..."

    Mr Benny: ...

    Mugger: I SAID, your I-POD or your LIFE!

    Mr Benny: Hold on! I'm thinking!


  • by nizo ( 81281 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:15PM (#8719331) Homepage Journal
    Now that we know this our social lives will improve, since getting mugged is better than no social life at all.
  • by bahwi ( 43111 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:16PM (#8719338)
    Yeah, the white headphones do give it a way, but this paragraph is badly written!

    The thief then asked Baskerville if he was listening to an iPod and, receiving an affirmative answer, he "pulled a knife out and started waving it at me, saying: 'Well hand it over, then.' I gave it to him and he ran off. He must have known I was wearing an iPod because of the white headphones."
  • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:17PM (#8719352) Homepage Journal
    Of all the nice design aspects of the iPod, as far as Apple are concerned those distinctive white headphones have to the best. Portable devices need to be small, discrete, and easy to slip into a pocket, so you never really see them. Is that person with the headphones on listening to a Rio player? iRiver perhaps? Maybe Neuros? Or just a discman stuck in their bag? But you know damn well when you see someone listening to an iPod.

    I'm surprised the others player manufacturers never cottoned on to this one: get the customers to do your advertising for you!

    • by wibs ( 696528 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:52PM (#8719810)

      Way back when I was the one of the few people to have an iPod, I was always very self concious when I pulled it out of my pocket. It's distinctive, but I don't want that kind of attention... I just want to listen to my music without feeling like some elitist rich snob. The problem was that even after I put my iPod back in my pocket, those damn white headphones were still trailing down over my customary black jacket... a little like the iPod advertisements these days. I couldn't stand it, and ended up buying new headphones []. The new ones are great, incredible technical accomplishments that cost quite a bit more money, but without that distinctive white cord I feel like so much less of an elitist rich snob, and now the only people that give me a second look while wearing them are audiophiles.

      Nowadays the whole rich elitist snob thing doesn't apply, because every college kid has an iPod of his very own. I have some friends with iPods that never felt the way I did before, but now that the dangling white cords are everywhere they've bought new headphones because they feel like they're trend followers. I know all of this must sound terribly vain, but in my profession appearances are very important (yes, even while listening to music).

      My story doesn't seem to have much of a point, I know. I guess what it comes down to is that if I were to pick my least favorite facet of the iPod, the white headphone cord would definitely be it. I don't like being a walking billboard for anything, no matter hor subtle the advertisement.

  • by mobiux ( 118006 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:17PM (#8719357)
    and aren't just wearing white earbuds to make yourself look cool.

    The mugger may get pissed and pop a cap in your ass when he find you only have an old walkman.
  • More FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Draoi ( 99421 ) * <.draiocht. .at.> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:18PM (#8719364)
    Just more media hype []

    Apple UK's wave of iPod advertising may be making the product a 'must-have' accessory for street criminals. It's also possible that UK journalists, disappointed at Apple's recent news that its much-anticipated iPod mini won't ship until July, now also have Apple in their sights - as was the case with the recent battery bad news stories.

  • hrm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hot_Karls_bad_cavern ( 759797 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:18PM (#8719368) Journal
    This reminds me of what my mother used to say:

    Be careful of how hard you try to get attention, you may not garner the type you intended.

  • by lotsofno ( 733224 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:20PM (#8719395)
    Mugger: so is that an ipod you got there mate?
    Guy: uh, yeah. ::mugger takes out knife::
    Mugger: alright, hand it over. ::mugger takes ipod and runs off:: ::mugger comes back::
    Mugger: uh, you haven't had this for 18 months or so by any chance?
  • muggings (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:21PM (#8719405) Homepage Journal
    ...sux. Had some street dude try to mug me before, downtown atlanta. Was getting off work, that day in the merchandise mart doing tradeshow set-up. Was tired and not in the mood to get mugged. This doofus walks up to me in the parking lot across the street as I was loading my tools back in the ride, waltzs right up and demands cash, Sez Mr. mugger wannabe -> "gimmee 20$" then some cursing. I stepped back, swung my vest open and started to draw my piece. Sez me ->" How 'bout 45 instead?"

    heh heh he took off running.

    Just an anecdotal story, doesn't mean much except to point out muggings happen everywhere,all around the whirrled, just sometimes they have a happy ending.

    There's an old saying I am fond of:

    "God made man - Then Colonel Colt made them equal"
  • RIAA (Score:5, Funny)

    by The_Mystic_For_Real ( 766020 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:21PM (#8719422)
    I wonder if the RIAA will sue these muggers for stealing copyrighted music? Knowing the RIAA, they are more likely to sue the victims for distributing copyrighted material.
  • by droopus ( 33472 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:22PM (#8719428)
    I bought my 5gb iPod the day Jobs announced them. My only complaint was the poor quality of the buds.

    Replaced them with Sony MDR-E888 [] the day after, which sound incredible.

    I bought my iPod because I love music, not as a "fashion accessory."

  • by felonious ( 636719 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:22PM (#8719437) Journal
    Use the headphones but plug them into an old, big-ass, tape deck that's playing "Wham" (George Michael) on it. Realizing what's going on the mugger should shit his/her pants and run for his/her life...
  • by borkus ( 179118 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:24PM (#8719456) Homepage
    As much as MP3 jukeboxes and digital cameras keep getting smaller, they keep becoming better targets for thieves. Someone walking down the street with a 20 GB iPod, a Palm Tungsten C and a Minolta dImage is carrying about $1000 (US) in potential swag. That makes a car stereo system look like chump change. Sure, the fence would have to sell the items without accessories, but you can usually get those for a fraction of the cost of the item.
  • Fun (Score:5, Funny)

    by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:30PM (#8719547) Homepage Journal
    One fake iPod case: $50.
    One receiver: $50
    One transmitter: $50
    One kilo C4: $150

    One mugger exploding when he runs more than 50 feet away from you: Priceless.

  • by lorenc ( 736529 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:34PM (#8719599)
    for stealing mp3's ....
  • by j1ggl3x ( 701715 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:38PM (#8719653)
    or else meet certain death... []
  • by Lord of Ironhand ( 456015 ) <> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:44PM (#8719708) Homepage
    Do these people even realize that taking someone's iPod is stealing? Would you illegally download music from the internet? No? Then why don't you stop stealing(!) iPods?

    Oops, nevermind...

    Though I'm sure there's a Soviet Russia post to be made out of this...

  • by thrillbert ( 146343 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:44PM (#8719709) Homepage
    Obviously it is easier for the police to "give a stern warning" than to use this new "bees to honey" approach at getting more crooks off the streets.


    • 1) Send undercover officer wearing white headphones walking down street.
    • 2) Crook aproaches with knife, pull out gun from pocket where iPod is supposed to be and introduces himself.
    • 3) Profit!!

    Frankfort, Kentucky, makes it against the law to shoot off a policeman's tie.
  • by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:44PM (#8719720)
    I want to get an Ipod and use my old pair of big ass 70s style radio shack headphones. big and bulky with the 1/4 inch jack and cover up your entire ears. na me=CTLG&category%5Fname=CTLG%5F007%5F003%5F004%5F0 00&product%5Fid=33%2D1176

    While they can be spotted at a distance, a mugger might thing I have a portable 8-track and not steal from me.

  • by blackmonday ( 607916 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:53PM (#8719811) Homepage
    As soon as the mugger steals one, a newer cheaper iPod comes out for mugging the next week. The vicious cycle repeats infinitely.

  • by n()_cHIEFz ( 203036 ) <> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:53PM (#8719820) Homepage
    ...I carry an iPod and also an H&K USP .40, fuck with my iPod and you're going to have some extra holes in your ass. Oh, sorry, I forgot you can't own guns like that in England, my bad :-/
  • West Midlands (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr_tommy ( 619972 ) <tgraham AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:56PM (#8719854) Journal
    As a resident in Birmingham UK (The West Midlands) i might add that people world wide probably don't really need to worry to much. Birmingham has quite high crime rates and a lot of rich boroughs surrounding it - people are prime targets. People need only remember the shootings that took place over new years eve last year.
    • Re:West Midlands (Score:5, Interesting)

      by henele ( 574362 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @07:13PM (#8720037) Homepage
      The police are right in saying West Midlands criminals are targeting specific groups.

      As a Birmingham student in halls of residence, both my next door neighbours, and then their neighbours, have all been broken into. One of the guys on the end had his room hit but he didn't have the notebook they were looking for so they left.

      I guess you could be it as some sort of social equilibrium in practice - students with so much near to areas of high unemployment, but what *really* pisses me off is when international students are (again intentionally) targeted - these are going to be important people who never want to come back to this city or country again. I guess the muggers aren't thinking of the global future but they really do a lot of unbalencing harm as well...
  • by elbarrio ( 592330 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @07:34PM (#8720255)
    From my rooftop in Spanish Harlem I have had the pleasure of witnessing a couple of muggings. From what I can tell muggers tend to prey on whomever they think is the easiest target. They generally don't go after you if you're with someone else, especially if you're two guys. They won't go after you if you look big and strong. And, no one ever seems to believe this, they will not go after you if you walk too fast. Part of mugging someone is the element of surpise and if they have to run to catch up with you, then their cover is blown. I have witnessed at least one case where I actually had the cell in my hand about to dial 911, but the person who I thought was going to be mugged, walked too quick for her would be attacker to catch up, and he gave up.

    Okay, all that slightly offtopic stuff said, wearing white headphones will not get you mugged. However, if some guy on an empty street stops you and asks you if you have an ipod, and you stop walking, look at them, and respond... well that may get you mugged, as it did the victim in the story.

  • It's not the IPOD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peripatetic_bum ( 211859 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @07:42PM (#8720332) Homepage Journal
    Im surprised that no one has mentioned this so I will (this is called insightful :)

    Anyway, the people with IPODs are no being mugged becuase of the IPOD. They are being mugged because of what the IPOD signifies. Someone who has an IPOD probably access to disposable cash and so make a richer target then other people. Also since this person is the kind of person to get an IPOD they are also less likely to put up a fight (ok I just made that up)

    Anyway, the point is that Muggers are using IPODS for selection of their targets *and* they get a cool IPOD to boot

    I would like to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.