How a dedicated team of NYPD cops work with Apple to catch iDevice thieves, even in other countries

NYPD-iPhone-01Due to an increase of crimes related to Apple’s iOS devices in New York City, the city has now assigned a dedicated team of police officers to recovering stolen Apple devices. This according to a report from the New York Post that detailed the process law enforcement goes through when an Apple device is reported stolen, which includes contacting Apple to get the location of the device:

Every time an Apple device is stolen, detectives attempt to get tracking numbers from the victim or online records… That number, known as the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity, is then shared with the officers in Police Headquarters who pass it on to Apple…The California-based company then informs the NYPD of the device’s current location — and it can track it even if it was reregistered with a different wireless provider.

The report also detailed accounts of police recovering devices—including an iPad tracked to the Dominican Republic and another involving a stakeout at a bus stop:

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In another case, it busted a man suspected of selling stolen iPads at a city bus stop by tracking them with Apple’s help. “We staked out the bus stop, ID’d the suspect and arrested him. We recovered the iPad,” said Browne, who noted 74 percent of all stolen Apple devices resurface within the five boroughs.

In December, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pointed to the increase in thefts of iPhones and iPads as the cause of the increase in the city’s annual crime index. That followed reports from the NYPD in September 2012 that claimed Apple-related crimes are increasing 10 times faster than the general crime rate. 

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.