iPhone theft on the rise

Two reports detail unfortunately what many already know, iPhones are magnets for crime. In New York City 40 percent of robberies, and almost half of all robberies in San Francisco involve the iPhone. From one police report:

the suspects demanded the victims hand over their iPhones, police said. The first victim complied, but the second only had a Droid, according to police. The thieves apparently didn’t want a Droid — so they took cash instead.

On campus the NUPD crime log is full of iPhone thefts.

Why the iPhone?

The new iPhone 5 (and 4) is a very popular and expensive device with a high resale value. The quick money combined with no national database of phone IDs allows a stolen phone to be reused on wireless networks in the US or overseas. At the minimum, the user would have a very nice iPod touch. In California a 15 year old boy admitted to reselling a stolen iPhone for $200.

Tips to protect your iPhone:

  • Backup all your data to the iCloud. Pictures, contacts, music, etc. If your iPhone is gone your data will be safe.
  • Use a passcode. If the phone is stolen a passcode will help keep your data safe.
  • Do not stand next to an open subway door with your iPhone in hand. Thief’s will grab your phone just as the doors close and run off.
  • Do not hold your iPhone when not in use walking down the street. Thieves will run by or ride up on a bike and snatch the phone out of your hands. Keep the phone in your pocket.
  • Your phone is not worth your life. If you are mugged give up your phone. Contact NUPD or Boston Police and report the theft.

If you are really worried, you could always get an Android.

More information:

AP: US Cell Phone Thefts

Gizmodo.com: Hold on Tight Smartphone Mugging Is More Popular Than Ever

TheiPhoneSpot.net: Muggers Dont Want Android

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