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Rise in Apple product theft accounts for over 14% of all major crime in NYC

NYPD sign up customers at Apple's Fifth Ave store Friday. | Source: The Gothamist

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A crime statistics report released by the New York Police Department this week revealed there were 11,447 recorded thefts of Apple products between Jan. 1 and Sept. 23, a 40 percent increase from last year that represents 14.4 percent of all other major crimes.

The spike in Apple-related theft outpaced other crimes, including murder, rape and robbery, which at 79,335 incidents grew four percent during the same period, reports PC Mag.

"The increase in incidents involving the theft of Apple products exceeded the increase in overall crime incidents of crime by 265," an NYPD spokesman said. "As if to mirror the market place, thefts of Apple products increased this year as the theft of electronics by other manufacturers decreased."

As of September, incidents involving Apple products represented 204 of the 1 percent rise in bruglaries, 160 percent of the 4 percent bump in robberies and 69 percent of the 9 percent increase in grand larcenies overall.

To stem the rising tide of Apple gadget theft, the NYPD instituted the "Anti-Apple Picking Campaign" alongside Friday's launch of the iPhone 5. Part of the police force's free device registering service, dubbed Operation ID, the program is aimed to help retrieve valuable electronic items by recording a product's serial number and corresponding owner information. As an option, the device can be marked with a unique serial number for easy identification in case the unit is lost or stolen.

In a post to the NYPD's Facebook page, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said, "The theft of Apple phones and other hand-held devices drove the spike in robberies and larceny this year. Individuals alert to their surroundings are less likely to become victims, and Operation ID will help those whose property is lost or stolen to get it back."