The number of gadget-related thefts in major metropolitan areas has only continued to rise, and the number of resolved cases simply can’t keep up. However, it would appear that Apple is now working directly with the NYPD to help return iThings into the hands of their rightful owners.
The NYPD has formed an official team which will work directly with Apple to track down stolen iThings, mostly iPhones and iPads.
Devices are tracked in the same way they always have been: with the help of tracking number (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity). Once the tracking number has been relayed to Apple, Cupertino can locate the device and send police to retrieve it.
According to NYPD spokesman Paul Browne, the team hopes to uncover a pattern that will lead police closer to the more organized side of the thefts, involving resale on the black market to unsuspecting buyers.
In New York, 74 percent of all stolen Apple products remain within the five boroughs. But some venture quite a ways away — the NY Post reports that Apple helped police track down an iPad that had ended up in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
According to the Huffington Post, the NYPD reported that over 40 percent of all robberies in the city now involve cell phones.
The wireless industry has been working hard to integrate with law enforcement on a number of levels. Along with Apple’s direct work with the NYPD, the wireless industry as a whole has been working to form a database of tracking numbers to help keep theft down, or at the very least, return as many stolen devices as possible. However, that won’t launch until November of 2013.
Additionally, carriers are working with officials to developer a next-generation 911 system that includes texting, MMS, as well as calls.