Stamford, CT is touted as “the city that works,” and it ranked as the seventh most expensive city to live in all of the United States, according to ABC News. Sources say, "Everything is high in Stamford, relatively speaking. It's an upper class suburban community." While utilities costs are reportedly more in Stamford than in much more happening cities including Manhattan and Brooklyn, crime rates are typically lower. However, with a recent series of robberies, this may no longer be the case.
The item of choice for the taking is the iPhone. Even more, the perpetrators are said to be teenagers outfitted in hooded sweatshirts riding bicycles and ripping right out of users’ hands the very gadget that many hold sacred. Being cleverly coined as “Apple Picking” by law enforcement in the region, it is wise to keep this expensive device under wraps if electing to take a stroll through Stamford or really any other metropolis for the unforeseeable future.
“Since the phone is in use, they can get right into the factory settings and reset the whole phone right away. So therefore, that disables all GPS tracking that we usually use to track these phones. So it disables the tracking device and therefore they go off to the black market and sell these things on the black market,” Stamford Police Lieutenant Diedrich Hohn told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.
Image via Premier Life.ca
Right now, you may be thinking, “No big deal, just enable the Find My iPhone app.” While this intuitive application was designed for users who have either lost or had their Apple device stolen to pinpoint it on a map or even provide driving directions to where it is located, these young robbers are smart enough to reset the phones before the victim has the time to recover and attempt to access Find My iPhone.
iPhones are possibly the technological innovation of choice right now for these lowlife thugs, as they are pretty expensive and yield some pretty decent returns when brought to the black market – specifically, to the tune of almost $200 each, Schneidau commented.
In a separate report, Stamford Police Capt. Rich Conklin said the smartphone kidnappers are so excited to get their hands on the iPhones that in some cases, they are even leaving without their bicycle in tow.
With nearly 40 attacks already taking place, some things are appearing to be common in each and every one of the incidents—the victims are women and the phone is always made by Apple.
I had the chance to speak with Sergeant Dispagna from the Stamford Police Department, who told me people can avoid getting their iPhones stolen by simply not walking through the street with them up to their ear.
“If you have a wallet out in clear sight and are counting your money, you’re essentially advertising that you have something of value, and if someone is an opportunist they see that they now have something to steal. We had this problem a couple of years ago with the only difference being chains were being stolen right off of people’s necks. These individuals stole them because they were there, and it has gotten to the point where people text and talk on their phones, not even realizing when they are about to walk in front of an oncoming car. While it has become the norm as of late, it is not a smart way to walk through the streets.”
You heard it here first folks, keep whatever is important to you concealed while out in public at all times or risk losing it forever.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo