NEW YORK—The New York City Police Department has formed a taskforce to specifically crackdown on thieves who rampantly steal iPads, iPhones, and iPods, and is working with Apple to help recover the devices, it was reported Friday.
“We’re looking for ways to find individuals who have stolen Apple products and return the products to their original owners,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the New York Post. “It is being done to learn the pattern who is stealing.”
The NYPD is working with the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant, which can track the location of the devices. Police are hoping their partnership with Apple will allow them to catch thieves and those who attempt to resell the stolen goods.
In one example, a stolen iPad was tracked back to the Dominican Republic after NYPD an intelligence officer based in the country helped with the case, the newspaper said. The force also arrested a man who was selling stolen iPads at a bus stop, using Apple’s tracking data to find him.
Browne said that around three-fourths of all stolen Apple devices are found within New York City limits.
The stealing of Apple devices led to a citywide spike in robberies and theft last year, said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. “In the absence of the Apple thefts, we would be experiencing a decline,” Kelly was quoted as saying by NBC last year.
There were 11,447 thefts of Apple devices from January to September 2012, according to NYPD data, an increase of 3,280 over the same period the year before. That was a larger increase than the total increase in crimes, 3,015.
Authorities in Washington D.C., St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Chicago also reported an uptick in smartphone thefts last year, reported Business Week.
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