Startling numbers of mobile device thefts, a.k.a “Apple-picking” from Vancouver indicate that almost 50% increase has been observed in stolen mobile devices over the past two years. As a result, Metro Vancouver police are urging the public to be extremely cautious with their Smartphones and other personal electronics, reports CTV News.
Sgt. Randy Fincham from Vancouver police said that thefts include everything from iPhones to Blackberries to small mobile devices. These devices are then resold on websites like eBay or Craigslist, and are put back in circulation after activating on other networks. Despite a 5% cent overall decline in robberies, transit police say that theft of portable electronics is up 21 per cent since August on SkyTrains.
The crime has become so prevalent in American cities that it’s been garnered its own nickname: “Apple-picking.”
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said people can prevent theft by being more discreet with their devices while outdoors. “When you’re waving it around like this, it’s like waving two or three hundred dollars around openly,” Grainger said.
Police also recommend pedestrians be aware of their surroundings. When listening to music, they suggest using only one ear bud in order to better hear someone approaching
Transit Police Service is now planning to soon launch a campaign warning passengers on platforms to put their Smartphones and gadgets away.