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NYC mayor blames increase in crime on demand for Apple products

Thefts of iPhones, iPads and iPods are accountable for an overall increase in crime in New York City, the Big Apple's mayor said in a recent interview.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show that overall crime in the city was skewed by the theft of Apple products, according to The New York Times. There were 3,484 more major crimes in 2012 than a year prior, but Apple product thefts alone were 3,890 greater than in 2011.

Bloomberg said that thieves in New York seem to show a preference for Apple products. He noted that mobile devices from Apple's competition, such as Samsung, were not included in the Apple-only figures.

The mayor advised that that citizens should keep their Apple products in an interior pocket, making the device harder to reach and also making it easier to tell if someone has reached in to steal it.

Bloomberg's press secretary, Marc La Vorgna, also said New York's overall crime figure was singlehandedly skewed by Apple: "If you just took away the jump in Apple, we'd be down for the year," he said.

NYPD sign up customers at Apple's Fifth Ave store in September. Photo via Gothamist.

In all, there were 108,432 major crimes in New York in 2012 through Monday. With just a few days left in the year, the figure represents a 3.3 percent increase from the 104,948 major crimes reported in all of 2011.

In September, a crime statistics report released by the New York Police Department revealed that Apple products accounted for 14 percent of all major crime in the city between Jan. 1 and Sept. 23 of this year. That was a 40 percent increase in stolen Apple products from the same period a year prior.

In response increases in stolen Apple products, the NYPD went hands on with crowds lined up for the launch of the iPhone 5 in September. Police offers encouraged customers to register their electronics in order to potentially recover them in the event of a theft.

The NYPD's "Anti-Apple Picking Campaign" is part of the NYPD's Operation ID, a free service in which officers register the serial number of a valuable device along with the owner's name and contact information.

"The theft of Apple phones and other handheld devices drove the spike in robberies in larceny this year," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "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."