141 Arrested by NYPD in Stolen iPhone, iPad Sting Operation

iPhone 4S thumbnail

It’s no secret that iPhones are a hot item, but that also makes them a prime target for theft. Stolen products are often turned around for theft, and the NYPD held a massive sting of bodegas, newsstands, and barbershops to help put a stop to the practice.

Last week, New York City-wide sting by the NYPD caught 141 merchants at various types of locations selling what they think were stolen iPhones and iPads. Undercover agents sold iPad 2s and iPhone 4s to merchants at over 600 locations in all five boroughs, even after they mentioned that the devices were stolen. The standard prices were offered between $50 and $200. Common places that these stolen goods sell for are bodegas, supermarkets, pawnshops, and even barber shops.

The NY Post spoke to the Commissioner as to why they were doing thing this:

“That’s our intention, to reduce the places where people who steal these things can go and sell them,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. “If someone is offering you an iPad for way below market value, you have to realize that it’s most likely stolen.”

While the retail prices of the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 (off-contract) are $499 and $549, shops buy these stolen items for around $175 and then sell them for around $300. The Williamsburg and Fort Greene precincts in Brooklyn had already been sending undercover agents to businesses that are known to sell stolen goods. Fort Greene’s 88th precinct already had the practice of asking those brought in where they’d sell their stolen devices, so the sting was based on well-established practices. Brooklyn was the borough that saw the most arrests, at 42. Manhattan had 41, the Bronx with 31, Queens with 21, and Staten Island with 6.

A source at the 90th precinct in Williamsburg advised people to not walk around with their phones out in plain sight.

“Walking around with a cellphone is like walking around with a $500 bill,” said the Williamsburg source. “Kids are stealing them and flipping them immediately.”

Let’s hope the clampdown on such merchants acts as a deterrent for thieves.

[via NY Post]

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  • Zlo

    Jap .Metrix

  • Colby

    Regarding the sale of stolen, activated iPhones (as opposed to stolen un-activated) the service providers need to be more supportive and proactive in defending the owner’s property. All iPhones have an IEMI number, which is the iPhone’s “fingerprint” and should always be locked to the owner. If the owner sells their device, they should report the change of ownership to their service provider, just like you would the title of a sold car. This way, when someone activates a stolen iPhone with a non-reported IMEI number, that iPhone could be “bricked” until returned to the store. Will people still sell a stolen iPhone, yes, but people purchasing will be less likely to buy if they know that there is a chance the iPhone will be useless. If you take the customer out of the equation, you take the growth of the market.

    • Worm

      I agree 100 percent. Mine was stolen. Luckily I was able to lock it and then wipe it clean. I tracked it for two days. Even offered a NQA reward. The providers need to offer us more support when this happens. IMEI number should be locked.

    • Thplo1

      Agree 100%. But, the user is probably already locked in a contract so the provider has very little to loose and, imo, their sales in phone insurance will drop considerably.

  • Ohhhhnononononooooo

    I bought mine for 600 new at the apple store

  • ron

    hey THEN U will be tracked 24 h , stupid brainwashed apple fans , i wonder how many brainless people like live on the planet , wake up , we need innovation concurrence , and not to do what apple like companys say to do

  • http://www.motorbeam.com/ fas

    Did they sell it to a cop, LOL.