Are iPhones Attracting More Crime? NYC Robbers Ignore Androids And BlackBerrys
An NBC affiliate in New York is reporting that a string of muggings against Columbia University students showed an interesting pattern: the thieves demanded iPhones or cash, turning down Android devices and other smartphones.
Twice at 526 114th St., and once at 556 114th St., the suspects demanded the victims hand over their iPhones, police said.
The first victim complied, but the second only had a Droid, according to police. The thieves apparently didn’t want a Droid — so they took cash instead.
The third victim also didn’t have an iPhone, but the men allegedly refused to believe her and threw her against a fence to search her.
The article quotes a Columbia student who theorizes that the muggers are interested in the higher resale value of the iPhone. (Although Androids must be worth something too, and it’s not like it costs them any extra to take it…)
CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk jokes that perhaps the robbers “simply find the other brands too complex to operate” compared to the intuitively designed iPhone.
A recent internal study from the NYPD confirms that theft of small electronics is on the rise, comprising half of all reported thefts in New York City in 2011. And 70% of thefts on subways and buses were iPhones. The police focus on “shady pawnshops and bodegas” laundering the stolen goods emphasizes that the devices are being stolen to sell, not for the criminals’ personal use.
Still, considering that Androids have been proven to be less supported and are arguably more virus prone than iPhones, this could be a silver lining for Samsung, Motorola, and other phone makers and carriers that use Google’s OS. Can you imagine the marketing campaign? “Droid: No one will want to steal it.”
What do you think? Is this a real crime trend, or just a fluke?