N.Y. Says Theft of iDevices Is Serious Problem

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is prodding the nation's top smartphone makers to help battle what his office described in a press release this week as a "rise in violent street crimes" related to theft of the increasingly ubiquitous devices.

His office uses the term "Apple Picking" and says that in New York City, theft of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) products has "driven much of the increase in the theft of electronics," with 11,447 cases of stolen iDevices reported between Jan. 1 and Sept. 23, 2012, a rise of 3,280 over the previous year. That's a 40% increase. And it isn't limited to Apple products.

"The thieves wipe the devices' memories clean and resell them for hundreds of dollars on the secondary market," said the AG's office. "Too often, those crimes turn violent, and even deadly."

Schneiderman has sent letters to the CEOs of Apple, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) and its hardware subsidiary Motorola Mobility, Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) , and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) , requesting their help in these efforts. Schneiderman's letters also inquire as to whether those firms have benefited financially from the sale of replacement phones to victims of theft.

Citing a study conducted by research firm Lookout, the AG's office said that lost and stolen cell phones cost users more than $30 billion in 2012.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (3)

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  • Report this Comment On May 14, 2013, at 11:05 AM, Jjkiam wrote:

    Why no mention of what Apple has done/is doing to combat theft. No mention that they work with the police or that Find my IPhone is a major anti theft recovery app only available for Apple. Why don't the other companies like Samsung offer this?

  • Report this Comment On May 14, 2013, at 11:20 AM, mdl00 wrote:

    1) Why does the title single out Apple?

    2) Why does Schneiderman think that it is smartphone manufacturers' jobs to get into the law enforcement business?

    3) Surely there are more pressing matters, such as robberies and physical harassment?

    4) How does one prove their phone was stolen, as opposed to selling their phone and playing a dirty trick on the buyer?

    5) Apple, at least, already does take some steps to stop theft, such as the Find my iPhone service, and they have a knowledge base article regarding reporting an Apple product as lost or stolen.

  • Report this Comment On May 14, 2013, at 12:34 PM, jdmeck wrote:

    New York is becoming another country. Now they are questioning the fact that device makers make money when devices are stolen. There is something wrong with the water in NY. Apple has plenty of procedures in place at least on the phones, and even iPods can be locked with a code. Find something better to bitch about. How about cleaning up NYC?

  • Report this Comment On May 14, 2013, at 12:35 PM, Tim1T wrote:

    Not sure if this post is up to the Fool level I'm used to. Mr Volkman doesn't bother to mention the work Apple is already doing to track down theft. Plus he singles out Apple -- as if they are the primary culprits.

    The primary culprits in these smart phone thefts is the thieves, obviously. I've never heard of a manufacturer being held responsible for the theft of a wallet or a car or a piece of electronics. So why single out phone makers?

    The folks who share a secondary responsibility are the law enforcement folks in New York for not keeping their city safe.

    Mr Volkman mentions none of this in his analysis. Of course in this he is merely following the lead of the New York Times. Their piece on the issue that was even more one-sided.

    We really need to call the media when they do this kind of sloppy reporting. I realize that putting Apple in a link title guarantees more page hits but it also makes the media site look a lame.

  • Report this Comment On May 15, 2013, at 10:07 AM, miteycasey wrote:

    Doesn't Apple make money through insuring their devices and if one is stole/lost/broken usually the person purchases a new device? Why would they go out of their way to help?

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