Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has become quite a brand, something that many people around the world want and desire. And this has even seemed to carry over into a brand that some want – in that they will get them from private citizens rather than going to a retail store. These “five-finger discounts” have become prevalent in some of the biggest cities in America, and some police departments are setting up stings and undercover units to track down and recover stolen iDevices like iPhones and iPads.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now stepping up its own efforts to try to help police departments recover these devices, as Cupertino is now actively working with the New York Police Department. Why? In New York City, there have been 4,000 more iDevice thefts reported in 2012 than in 2011, which actually increased the city’s crime index last year. Stolen Apple device reports have spiked in several cities, including St. Louis, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago, among others. The crime wave has gotten so large that some departments are stationing undercover officers on public transit to catch thieves and conducting sting operations in various stores and pawnshops where suspected stolen iDevices are being sold.
In the past, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had offered the “Find My iPhone” feature, which helped owners locate their missing phones on a map, display a message, set a lock remotely and delete information from the phone. Apple is going a step further now, though, as New York police officers are sharing unique ID numbers of stolen devices – known as IMEI numbers – with Apple and the company is using those numbers to track devices anywhere in the world, no matter what wireless carrier to which they were connected.
While Apple is helping, what about the wireless carriers who are affected by these thefts?