Since January, the number of grand larcenies reported in the subway has jumped 17.8 percent compared to the same period last year. NYPD transit bureau chief Raymond Diaz said the increase is due largely to thieves seeking tablets and smartphones, especially the iPhone 4. The robberies tend to start in the late afternoon and go through evening rush hour. People sitting near the subway doors with their gadgets out are more vulnerable than those farther into the subway car. The hot spots for Apple envy are the 4,5,6 trains in Manhattan, the J and L in Brooklyn, and the M, R, and 7 in Queens. Although in most cases the devices are being sold, not used. If you record your serial number, Diaz says the police, who are in the middle of (an apparently not-so-secret) sting operation, can check their database to see if they've been recovered. Unfortunately for Steve Jobs fanboys, the new iPhone 5 coming out this fall is supposed to look just like the previous iteration. Maybe someone can invent an app that just bleets "obsolete, obsolete" while you're underground — or better yet, a smartphone cover that looks like an iPhone 3. Even a thief is above absconding with that scrap metal.
iPhones Fuel Rise in Subway Theft [Metropolis/WSJ]