San Francisco Tackles iPhone Theft
April 29, 2013 2:41 PM
comment(s) - last by
Seventh and Market Street is the stolen iPhone marketplace
Police officers in the San Francisco Bay Area are currently trying to correct a serious, ongoing tech problem -- the stolen
San Francisco Police Capt. Joe Garrity described how the cross at Seventh and Market Street in downtown San Francisco is the main place for selling/buying stolen iPhones.
Since about 48 percent of San Francisco residents use an iPhone, the device has a target on its back for theft. Thieves snatch the iPhones from unsuspecting texters on the street, switch their SIM cards (since carriers block SIMs reported stolen) and run to sell them on Seventh and Market.
According to Lookout, a mobile security firm, the total value of lost or stolen phones in the U.S. is approximately $30 billion a year. Many stolen phones bought here are often resold in other countries to escape being blacklisted by American carriers.
San Francisco police officers say nearly half of all robberies in the city involved smartphones last year. Police would use GPS sensors in stolen iPhones to trace their whereabouts, and most often, the phones would end up on Seventh and Market.
So what are police officers doing about this? Sting operations, where Officer Tom Lee is dressed more "streetlike" in a hoodie, jeans and sneakers and walks the streets of San Francisco with a bag of "stolen" iPhones to sell. He tells potential customers he has iPhones for sale, freshly stolen from the Apple Store, and that they should make him an offer (typically $25-$200).
The iPhones are borrowed from Apple for the sting operations, and Lee remains unarmed so that
don't figure out that he's a cop. However, two armed officers are nearby in street clothes to keep an eye on Lee, and more police officers await in an unmarked car down the street.
Buyers look the iPhones over to make sure they work, and once agreeing to the deal, offer Lee the cash. He accepts, and gives his fellow police officers a signal to make an arrest.
However, some disagree with this tactic. They say it invites crime rather than prevents it, and punishes unsuspecting buyers who may not be aware that the device is stolen.
In one case, where Lee once again played a decoy looking to sell iPhones, he forgot to tell the buyer that the iPhone was stolen. So when the buyer was arrested for making a deal, he was later released from the police station -- and got the $100 he paid for the iPhone, too.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/29/2013 4:10:29 PM
Well, it is a crime to buy stolen property. If you have been told the phone is stolen and proceed to purchase it, you are a criminal and deserve the full penalty of law. If you are not told it was stolen, you are a victim and deserve protection by and from the law.
Either way, by setting up a sting operation for buyers, they are attacking the symptom and not the root of the problem-- that thieves are stealing phones. This is bad police work, bad policy, and it's as likely to impact the thefts as a fart is to impact a hurricane.
4/29/2013 4:33:53 PM
4/29/2013 5:58:13 PM
Agreed. I thought the police were going to disguise themselves as buyers and then investigate the sellers. This is poor police work. Going after the wrong crowd.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
Hon Hai Posts Disappointing Q1 Earnings Due to Weaker iPhone Demand
April 10, 2013, 9:17 AM
Shanghai Police Arrest 5 People for Building, Selling Fake iPhones
September 29, 2011, 10:14 AM
Retiree Sues Apple For $7,500 for Wiping Honeymoon Photos From His iPhone
November 30, 2015, 10:23 AM
iPhone 7 May Pack 3-4 GB Memory, More Storage; 4-Inch Comeback is Rumored
November 20, 2015, 10:12 PM
OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 Will Receive Android Marshmallow in Q1 2016
November 16, 2015, 9:58 AM
Lenovo Whoa: Motorola Droid MAXX 2 and Turbo 2 Break Cover in Leaks
October 26, 2015, 3:12 PM
Leak: Apple Preps for First Real Android App Foray With New Apple Music App
October 24, 2015, 1:59 PM
Pepsi Smartphone? Empty Calories Coming Soon to the Midrange
October 12, 2015, 11:41 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information