iPhone, iPad thefts rise 40 percent: NYPD

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The "Apple" of the eye for New York City thieves is the growing numbers of iPhones and iPads and just about anything else made by the company that Steve Jobs founded, according to the NYPD.

The theft of Apple products so far this year has risen 40 percent over the same period in 2011, accounting for 11,447 incidents of theft, according to the latest New York City Police Department statistics.

The increase includes an additional 3,280 thefts of Apple devices over last year, police said.

Apple-related thefts are fueling the increased number of burglaries, robberies and other larcenies that have spiked this year, leading to the 4 percent increase in serious crimes citywide, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. He said police have been tracking thefts of Apple devices as they have grown in popularity.

Police said that while Apple items have become favorites of thieves, thefts of similar electronics made by other manufacturers has decreased.

In response to the growing crime trend, police have been cautioning the public to be conscious of their surroundings and to take part in police programs aimed at making recovery of stolen electronics easier.

Last week as the new iPhone 5 went on sale, the NYPD registered phones at 21 stores where they were sold, including six Apple stores in the city, as well as seven Verizon and eight AT&T stores. As part of the no-cost Operation ID, officers registered the phone's serial number along with the owner's name and contact information. Consumers are also being encouraged to bring their devices to any police station, where the items can also be engraved with a uniquely identifiable serial number prefaced with the letters "N.Y.C."

Police also stress that the public should take care in using the devices.

"Individuals alert to their surroundings are less likely to become victims of thefts of iPhones and other handheld devices," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Detectives are also targeting iPhone fences and thieves.

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