New York City is possibly the most dangerous place to take your new iPhone or iPad. Grand larcenies have increased this year in the Big Apple, which NYPD spokesman Paul Browne attributes to criminal's obsession with stealing handheld devices. But after a sting operation that went down between Tuesday and yesterday, things might be a bit safer in the city that never sleeps.
Undercover officers attempted to sell iPhones and iPads at discounted prices (between $50 and $200) to over 600 stores throughout all five boroughs — including bodegas, supermarkets, gadget stores, etc. — clearly stating that all the hardware had been stolen.
Of the 600 stores solicited by the undercover policemen, 141 merchants were busted for trying to purchase the “stolen” hardware. Over the past year, the New York City subway has been prime real estate for thieves looking to jack smartphones and tablets. With more expensive gadgetry on the market, thieves are making bank selling their stolen goods to small shops.
"That's our intention, to reduce the places where people who steal these things can go and sell them," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to the NY Post. "If someone is offering you an iPad for way below market value, you have to realize that it's most likely stolen."
An unnamed source from Fort Greene's 88th precinct mentioned that over half the robberies in the precinct involve iPhones during certain months. Interestingly enough, an ABC News story from last week uncovered that some thieves don't want anything but the iPhone, asking for cash instead of an Android phone.
What we should learn: Don't wave your phone around, iPhone or not. Don't steal people's phones. Don't try to sell stolen phones. Don't try to buy stolen phones.
[Photo Credit: The Lush Side]