Theft of Apple Products Continues to Soar in NYC

Back in mid-2012, we reported on what then appeared to be a relatively new phenomenon, that is, the increase in the number of iPhones and iPads being stolen. We noted in that article (Grand Larceny Increase Tied to iPhone and iPad Thefts) that the theft rate for these items was so high that it was the driving force behind an overall increase in grand theft in New York City. We concluded our report with the question of whether the tech-savvy Apple folks might come up with a solution which might deter the thefts.

Time passed, but apparently there has been no relief from the spate of Apple-snatching. A month after we published our report, we were told that these particular items have been stolen at a rate that is ten times higher than any other crime. And just this week, the Wall Street Journal published new figures that point to the fact that there has been no let-up when it comes to the ever-popular iPhones and iPads. So much so that the report indicates New York City has become a much safer place in which to live and work over the past decade or so – unless you happen to own one of these devices.

To get an idea of these unusual statistics, here are the changes in some of the crime figures over the past decade or so:

  • Murder – down 43%
  • Robbery – down 30%
  • Motor vehicle theft – down 72%

On the other hand, the number of grand larcenies has steadily increased each year since 2010. The figure becomes more anomalous when you realize that on a nationwide basis, grand larceny has dropped by 13% since 2002.

In New York these thefts are usually charged as grand larceny in the fourth degree, which includes theft of property, no matter what its value may be, that is taken “from the person of another.” Fourth degree grand larceny is a class E felony. For those who are unfamiliar with the penalty provisions of New York criminal law, it may not sound all that serious. But under Article 70 of the Penal Law, a fourth degree felony conviction is punishable by up to four years in prison. That’s a fairly hefty sentence for grabbing a cell phone.

George Vomvolakis Law Offices
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