SECURITY ALERT - iPhone Thefts on 5th Avenue

 Every month the Graduate Center gets crime reports for the streets surrounding our building from the NYPD’s Midtown South Precinct. The latest monthly review revealed that in February, there were two “snatch and run” thefts of iPhones outside our building on 5th Avenue. As far as we know, the victims were not members of the Graduate Center Community.

A recent study by the NYPD determined that half of the 16,000 robberies in New York City in 2011 involved hand-held electronics. This makes electronics the single most stolen property type, even surpassing hard currency. The most popular of the stolen devices is the iPhone, which police say accounts for 70 percent of all phones stolen on city buses and subways. Other stolen electronic devices include iPads, laptops and MP3 players. The problem has been compounded by an active black market that traffics in stolen electronics.

The NYPD has been using a multi-pronged approach to attack the problem including the use of undercover officers, sting operations and public awareness campaigns. There has also been a push for legislation which would require cell phone companies to install technology that would remotely make stolen phones inoperable. The technology is currently being used in Europe but American carriers have balked at implementing such measures due to their high cost.

By taking the steps below you can reduce your odds of being a victim of this type of crime:
• If at all possible, avoid using electronic devices on city streets.
• Be aware of your surroundings if you must use these devices.
• Contact your local police precinct about their Operation Identification program which involves engraving an identifiable serial number on portable valuables.
• Immediately report any suspicious activity outside our building to Public Safety at the lobby desk or by calling 212-817-7777.
Additional crime prevention information can be found on the Security & Public Safety website

Submitted on: MAR 16, 2012

Category: Security, Security & Public Safety