Have you heard of “Apple picking?” It's the term that police have been using to describe thieves who literally walk up to people and snatch their iPhones right from their hands. It's brazen, but apparently really effective as well. A quick Youtube search results in plenty of videos showing thieves snatching phones from unsuspecting users.
The problem is becoming such an epidemic that the New York City Police Department has created a dedicated group to help locate and return the stolen devices. According to CNN, the team was created last year after the department saw a spike in Apple product thefts. The NYPD's deputy commissioner said that while the overall crime rate in New York City increased by 3% last year, it would've actually decreased if you discount iPhone thefts.
Details on how many people are in this group and how successful it is are lacking. However, the NYPD says that 75% of stolen phones and tablets stay within the city boundaries, and even the phones that leave the city still usually remain in the state. Apple did not make a comment on this venture, but the NYPD said that the company has been helpful.
Source: CNN | Image courtesy of NewSourceMedia