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Crime Iphone Cellphones Apple

Fighting the iCrime Wave 170

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 davester666 ( 731373 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:18PM (#40802757) Journal

    What's obnoxious is that Apple will 'helpfully' hand over a replacement iPhone for all kinds of reasons, but without any verification as to whether you are the owner. So thief steals iPhone, goes to Apple store and complains about something on the iPhone not working right, is handed new iPhone with new IMEI.

    If you are cynical, you'd think Apple does this specifically so thieves will steal them, so you have to buy another iPhone.

  • by oPless ( 63249 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:20PM (#40802785) Journal

    Yes, but what are you going to to about wireless-only iPads/Tablets?

    IIRC GSM/3G phones in the UK and most of europe (assumption) all check against a list of stolen/insurance claimed devices - it won't register on the network, and 2nd hand phone traders/repairers/refurbishers will not touch them with the added bonus of passing your details onto the police.

    However outside this area there is no communication between registration bodies. Your stolen euro phones just go to the middle-east/asia/africa.

    In the states they're only just about getting their arses into gear. I doubt they'll data-share with their euro cousins either.

  • by ThunderBird89 ( 1293256 ) <> on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:29PM (#40802837)

    I think Prey happens to survive a factory restore. I remember it being already installed after I did a factory reset after a dubiously-gone Android upgrade. And anyway, if you change the lock method to, say, password, from pattern, they won't be able to get into the menu to restore.
    Although a recovery-mediated reinstall will most likely kill even Prey...

    I'm aware that a blocked IMEI can't be circumvented, but that does make one wonder: why aren't telcos already implementing such measures? And what about not using the device on a cellular network? A WLAN-only iPad wouldn't suffer from IMEI-blocking, so there needs to be another way to deter theft for those devices.

  • by drunken_boxer777 ( 985820 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:30PM (#40802845)

    When my wife lost her iPhone we called AT&T and asked if they could help us get it back. They told us that they "can't track a phone". Not that "we can't do that for legal reasons" or something similar. They claimed that they don't have the technological capability. I asked, "If I were the CIA or FBI and asked you to find this phone, would you still say that you don't have the capability?" "Correct. We can't do it." Please.

    The carriers don't care if someone loses a phone, or has one stolen. Whoever ends up with it could use it on their network, creating an additional customer. They care more about that than getting your mobile device back.

  • Re:It's only stuff (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:46PM (#40802943)

    Living in a place where it's legal to carry, both open and concealed, a handgun, bringing a screwdriver to a gun fight is a bad move. Having had to draw a weapon, thankfully not having to use it, to defend myself and others, you'd be surprised what a deterrent it is. Most thieves, even the armed ones, are cowards.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas