MPD Warns of Robbery Trend

Photo by PoPville flickr user D©Bloom

From the 2D Listserv:

“Recently, a large number of these robberies (cases where someone is “mugged” on the street, or has an item snatched from their hands) involve Apple iPhones. This ubiquitous, expensive device appeals to criminals because it can be easily reprogrammed, or erased, and sold for quick cash.

We’re seeing folks having phones snatched from their hands as they walk down the street, or taken from tables while sitting at restaurants. Although the vast majority of these offenses do not involve physical harm to the victim, this is a disconcerting trend that deserves attention.

As always, I’m asking folks to be aware of their surroundings, especially while walking down the street and talking on the phone (try and avoid doing that if you are walking alone at night). Do not leave your phone lying on a table while dining out as this may also attract would-be thieves.

Commander Matt Klein”

12 Comment

  • The worst part about it is Apple / AT&T can totally track it if they want – even erasing the phone – all hardware is unique and as soon as it goes back on the network they can find it.

    But they don’t.

    So you buy another one (because you will) and they get 2 service contracts.

    BOOM- i wouldn’t be surprised if the crooks get comission behind the scenes

    • I’m sure AT&T has a division dedicated solely to the business of liberating iphones from their owners and reselling them on the black market.

      They probably share office space with the guys who faked the moon landing, the Rothschilds, the Getty’s and the Colonel with his wee bitty eyes.

      • ok fine. But tell me at least why they wont help find the phones since technologically there is nothing stopping them. Why don’t they flag stolen phones so they can’t be reactivated again on their network?

        • I heard these theives are selling them to “brokers” who then ship them overseas. So apple/at&t might not have the ability to just flag stolen phones and recover them.

        • Because if even 0.1% of the iphones sold per year are stolen, then they would have to dedicate a dozen people to monitoring the problem. You have to pay someone to maintain a database, the database has to be accessible to every store in the country in real time, the database has to be 100% accurate and then you have to actually call the cops when the person comes in trying to register the phone. If you goof on one stolen phone (refuse to turn on a valid phone, accidentally turn on a stolen phone) you get sued. Why would you ever sign up for that voluntarily? It’s cheaper to make the consumer buy theft insurance.

          • There is no theft insurance for iPhones (at least there wasn’t when I re-bought one after mine was snatched on the metro).

          • um. AT&T already has a database that has your phone’s unique ID.

            I’ve had phone problems in the past. I was in the middle of downloading the newest iphone software when my computer crashed. The phone would’t reboot. So I called AT&T. They asked for this unique ID and my personal information. I don’t remember why.

            In any case, I don’t see how difficult it is to add an extra column to this database – “Reported Stolen” which can be clicked when a phone is reported stolen.

            then anytime a person requests service on a used phone, then AT&T should crosscheck the unique ID on this used phone against the list of stolen phones.

            Seems simple enough. But they won’t. And I can’t help but believe that it’s because they want to make money on the new phone you buy and the stolen phone.

            I hope some greedy lawyer intiates a class action lawsuit. I’m surprised one hasn’t done so already.

  • awesome chalkboard art once again. really impressed that they spend the time to create this only to be eventually erased. kudos.

  • Wow – Bourbon has a back patio?

  • 3G Reception? Most not be in DC.

  • If you have a .Mac account and use MobileMe, there is a “Find My iPhone” feature that allows one to Remote Wipe their phone, send it a message, and locate it globally from the web.

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