Detailed within the New York Times crime beat last week, the continued theft of the same iPhone within Brooklyn, New York put a couple of greedy thieves in jail during late 2012. On an afternoon walk during late November, an unnamed 16-year-old girl was venturing across Prospect Park and listening to music on her iPhone 4S. During her stroll, she was approached by three boys approximately the same age. One of the boys grabbed the iPhone 4S and a scuffle for the expensive smartphone ensued. After a moment, the boy wrestled the iPhone away from the girl and the trio left the park with the stolen Apple smartphone.
The girl immediately walked out of the park and located two New York City police officers. Officer Denisse Pacheco assisted her in attempting to locate the three boys in and around the park, but the thieves were not in the area anymore.
The thief in possession of the stolen iPhone walked to a nearby neighborhood and attempted to sell the smartphone to a man walking along the street. However, that man decided to grab the iPhone out of the boy’s hand and ran away from the young thief.
At this point, the boy decided to call a nearby police car and ended up filing a complaint with Sgt. Arnoldo Martinez. Police officers in the area were able to find the man walking around the neighborhood with the stolen iPhone and quickly took him into custody. At this point, both the man and the boy were transported to the 70th Precinct to finish the paperwork.
Approximately an hour after the original theft, Officer Denisse Pacheco decided to call the number of the stolen iPhone in an attempt to speak to the thief. Since the phone was still in the possession of Sgt. Arnoldo Martinez, the two police officers quickly figured out that the boy had stolen the iPhone while in Prospect Park.
The two officers were able to concoct a plan in which the boy was led out to the front of the station house while Officer Denisse Pacheco and the girl were sitting in a parked police car across the street. After identifying the boy as one of the thieves, the girl also showed officers that she could unlock the phone with her security pin number. The boy was immediately arrested for the original theft.
During 2012, there were approximately 16,000 Apple-related thefts within the New York City area. That about a forty percent jump from total Apple device thefts during 2011. During September 2012, the NYPD launched a security initiative called “Operation ID.” New York City residents were encouraged to visit a local Apple, Verizon, or AT&T store to register the serial number of the Apple device and link that information with the owner’s address and name.
Police officers also spent time teaching iPhone owners how to use Find my iPhone to locate a stolen or lost Apple device within the city using GPS tracking. In addition to Operation ID, the NYPD also spent time creating successful sting operations on the subway in order to catch people attempting to sell stolen iPhones and other popular electronics.