Saturday, December 29, 2012

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg blames major crimes rise on iDevice popularity

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has blamed iPhones and iPads for a rise in major crimes in the city. It's not because people want the iDevices so badly that they resort to crime for the money, but instead that they want the iDevices so badly that they steal them.

There is some statistic evidence that leads Bloomberg to that conclusion, as Bloomberg said Friday during his weekly radio show. As of Monday, Bloomberg said, the New York Police Department had recorded 3,484 more major crimes in 2012 than for the same period in 2011. The increase in Apple product thefts: a surprisingly coincidental 3,890.

That number is a sore point for New York. Since the rise in major crimes was less than the rise in iDevice thefts, as Marc La Vorgna, the mayor's press secretary, said:
If you just took away the jump in Apple, we'd be down for the year.
Simple math, so it seems that the rise in thefts of iDevices could -- if New York City wanted to be snarky -- be behind the slight increase in the city’s annual crime index, a statistic that covers a number of felonies, including murder, robbery, and grand larceny. Despite the snarkiness, though, it's true that iDevice thefts have risen some 40 percent, as the city announced in September.

In response to the spike in thefts, the NYPD has launched a new service called "Operation ID" to help owners find mobile devices that are lost or stolen. Nationally, in April, the FCC and the Big Four wireless carriers said they were working together on a centralized database of mobile phones that have reported lost or stolen; devices in that database will be denied voice or data service if a user tries to activate them again.

Mayor Bloomberg offered some common-sense advice, as well:
Put it in a pocket in sort of a more body-fitting, tighter clothes, that you can feel if it was -- if somebody put their hand in your pocket, not just an outside coat pocket.
We'd suggest another thing: a PIN, password or pattern lock, so that if you lose your device you have time to wipe it. You do have your mobile device, Android or iOS, activated on a cloud service that will allow you to do that, don't you?

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