“The other night my friend was mugged while walking home from a night out right around 11th and U Streets, NW. Apparently two men came up from behind and punched him in the head and again in the stomach to knock him down. Then went through his pockets. They took his watch, iPhone, and the money out of his wallet (but gave the wallet back). Then complained that there was only $5 in his wallet.
I know that stealing smartphones has become a bit of a problem in the area. I also know that it is possible for the cellular companies to put in a “kill switch” for the phones that would make it not possible to ever activate them on another network but they refuse to do so because of potential lost profits.
The good news is that an iPhone with iOS7 that has the Find My iPhone option turned on, can be tracked, even if the phone is wiped. In order to turn off the Find My iPhone option, you have to enter your iTunes password. This means that the only way someone could prevent a stolen phone from being tracked is to turn it off so that it is not transmitting a signal.
When the police arrived to assist my friend (Which they did very quickly and in force), one of them asked for a description of the theives and quickly left to canvass the area. Meanwhile, another officer asked my friend to enter his ituens info into an iPad to see if they could search for the phone. It was not showing up on their system, so the people who stole it must have turned the phone off or wiped it (my friend had not upgraded to iOS7).
Between these types of thefts and the knockout game that seems to be happening in the area, people need to make sure to be aware of their surroundings and watch out for potential threats. Hopefully the colder weather will decrease the number of crimes in the area.”
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