Pay attention: Warm weather means more iCrime

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iPhone. Photo Credit: Getty Images/ KAREN BLEIER

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Rachel Figueroa-Levin Rachel Figueroa-Levin

Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @ElBloombito, @Jewyorican and @EveryGentrifier.

It's pretty easy to steal an iPhone.

I was at a restaurant recently and saw a man with an iPhone next to him at the bar. In a matter of minutes he could have turned away, and I could have had a new iPhone.

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Thieves wait for the right opportunity: Someone leaves a phone unattended, or sticking out of a bag or pocket. Or iPhone users get so focused on apps that thieves could easily snatch the devices from their hands.

In 2013, 18 percent of all grand larcenies in NYC involved Apple products, according to NYPD figures. They're small, valuable and have high resale value. NYPD officials have said Apple products are so popular among criminals the department specifically tracks their thefts.

I'll admit, I often let myself get sucked into my apps when I'm on the train. Luckily, I've never had somebody try to rip the iPhone from my hands, but it's possible.

There are some measures that can help drive down that 18 percent figure. The NYPD has a program called Operation ID that lets iPhone users register the devices and get them engraved with unique (and NYC prefaced) serial numbers. If a phone is stolen, a thief could have a hard time reselling it because people might know it's stolen.

Also, owners can turn on the Find My iPhone feature to track that device -- or an iPad, iPod touch or Mac -- with GPS, giving a password and enabling a remote information wipe to delete all personal data. The information can then be retrieved from your iCloud backup. Some people have used the Find My Phone feature to go to the location of the person who has the phone. Please don't do that: You don't know who stole it or has it. Really, the phone is already stolen. Call the police and let them handle it.

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Most of all, pay attention. Crime tends to rise in warmer weather because everyone is out and about. If you wear headphones, moderate the volume so you can be better aware of your surroundings. If you're walking down the street, look at the street instead of your iPhone screen.

And know that despite the city's decline in crime and other improvements in the quality of life, New York is still New York and there are people who want to steal your stuff.

Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican and @ElBloombito.

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