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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 JackBurton on 4/30/2013 6:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
I' m not going to comment on your top two responses since I think I've cover them pretty well. However I find your last comments hilarious. AitPlay, iMessage iTunes Match and iCloud are useless? Seriously? Either you have no idea what those features are, are a blind Andriod fanboy and refuse to acknowledge true progress, or are just too cheap to afford a real solution. How about this, you keep fumbling around with your HDMI cables and SD cards, and I'll use wireless audio/video playback and true on demand storage options.

Have a good time with your 2013 phone with 2005 "features." :p

RE: Lost iPhone?
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 8:41:25 PM , Rating: 3
Lol... You are hilariously clueless.

RE: Lost iPhone?
By JackBurton on 4/30/2013 9:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
lol, it sounds like you can't see the forest from the trees.

RE: Lost iPhone?
By JackBurton on 4/30/2013 9:08:42 PM , Rating: 1
lol, I didn't mean to respond to my own genius posts. :)

RE: Lost iPhone?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/1/2013 7:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Umm I don't have an Apple TV, I don't use iTunes, and I don't have an iPad. So yeah, those features are literally USELESS to me. They only benefit people who fully invest in Apple's proprietary ecosystem, enveloping themselves further in a walled garden, i.e iDiots.

How about this, you keep fumbling around with your HDMI cables and SD cards, and I'll use wireless audio/video playback and true on demand storage options.

Right because we know EVERYWHERE you go there's an Apple TV and a wireless router and an iTunes client on a Macbook ready to go! Am I right?

Here's the thing, this isn't an either/or. Android phones support the physical connections AND also streaming options. Just because we don't run iCloud, iTunes, and iMessage doesn't mean we're left with no wireless audio/video playback, you fool.

Have a good time with your 2013 phone with 2005 "features." :p

Is it opposite day? Last time I checked the iPhone was the one severely lacking features compared to Android phones.

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