The 'Big Apple' Harbours Thriving Black Market in Apple iPhones and iPads
The Big Apple, aka New York city, might be known as the city that never sleeps, but it's also acquired a highly unsavoury reputation for mobile crime, with theft of Apple iPhones and iPads being particularly prevalent. The street thugs steal the expensive devices, have them unlocked/jailbroken by unscrupulous techies and then peddle them via the multitude of small shops, or "bodegas" in New York or overseas, with the Middle East seeing a particularly high demand. In fact, overall demand is so strong, that it's already 50% higher than the whole of 2011. Dreadful news when one stops to consider the misery that every theft brings its victims, no matter how small.
The criminals below are accused of robbing an 81 year old man of his Apple iPhone in a subway platform robbery in New York.
Starting two weeks ago, AT&T started keeping track of the serial numbers of stolen models and now blocks them from being re-activated on the carrier's pipeline. That has forced the thieves to turn to crooked phone repair shops in the city where the devices are unlocked. One shop offered to unlock as many as 50 stolen Apple iPhones for $35 each.
"It's a tight network of crooks", said one police source who recently ran three undercover stings in hardscrabble parts of Brooklyn. "The bodegas know the perps in the neighborhood, so it's really hard for us to infiltrate that criminal community."
Posted by | Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - 06:18 PM