Thefts of Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) products in New York City increased more since last year than crime overall, according to the police department.
The Cupertino, California-based company’s products were stolen in a total of 11,447 incidents between Jan. 1 and Sept. 23, an increase of 40 percent over the same period a year earlier, the NYPD said in a statement yesterday. That compares with a 4 percent rise in the same period for the total number of index crimes -- the seven major crimes, including murder, rape and robbery.
The NYPD stationed officers at 21 stores in the city where the iPhone 5 went on sale on Sept. 21 to help buyers register their new devices so they can be traced if stolen. About 1,500 phones were registered with the assistance of police officers, according to Paul Browne, a spokesman for the department.
Earlier this year, the NYPD deployed patrol officers with technology that allows them to locate stolen iPhones and other stolen Apple products and apprehend those responsible. Officers have used the tools to recover property and make arrests. “Our emphasis on prevention and investigation of Apple thefts stems from the fact that they are a magnet for crime, including robberies, driving the spike we’ve experienced this year,”Browne said in an e-mail.
Apple said demand for its newest smartphone, iPhone 5, continued to exceed the initial supply, an issue the company cited last week as the cause of delivery delays for some early online orders.
The latest model, which was reported stolen from stores in Japan and the U.K. when it went on sale last week, is fetching a premium on EBay Inc. (EBAY:US) and other outlets. No thefts of the new device have been reported in New York City yet, Browne said.
Apple reported debut weekend sales for the iPhone 5 that fell short of some analysts’ estimates after supply constraints delayed shipments. More than 5 million iPhone 5s were sold in the first three days, surpassing a record set last year by the previous model, Apple said in a statement.
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