Print 67 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on May 2 at 10:57 AM

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 iPhone market

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 potential buyers 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.

Source: Huffington Post

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RE: Lost iPhone?
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 2:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, on the forum, but that is just them standing behind their fanboyism. No-one can seriously look at an HTC One, Xperia Z, Optimus G pro, GS4, or one of the other high end Android phones from this year and think Apple is in the same league. this list of missing items is simply too large. I can see some people saying they like their iPhone and dont need more, and it works well, and all of their apps are there, so they buy another, but they cant say its a better smartphone or technically in the same ballpark. It's not even close, its not even a debate anymore. The iPhone is a good phone for 1st timers, and the non-technical, as well as people that already have a a ton of ties to the ecosystem and and don't want to change, but that doesn't make it equal.

RE: Lost iPhone?
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/30/2013 2:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
No-one can seriously look at an HTC One, Xperia Z, Optimus G pro, GS4, or one of the other high end Android phones from this year and think Apple is in the same league.
But they do, everyday, in this forum. It's quite sad and pathetic at the same time.

RE: Lost iPhone?
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 2:26:01 PM , Rating: 3
I find it kind of funny... Here on a tech site, arguing in favor of the far lower tech devices... It's like sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling "la la la la la I cant hear you".

I dunno, the iPhone is a nice 1 trick pony. If that one trick is all you need and you can ignore the giant list of missing features, or you just dont need that kind of power, then I see it, but to actually argue for it on a tech site? LOL. Hilarious.

RE: Lost iPhone?
By Tony Swash on 4/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Lost iPhone?
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 9:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well imagine that. Tony comes down on the Apple side of a debate. Its almost like a recurring theme.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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