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'Apple picking': Metro says thieves target phones, tablets

Reported by: Christine Kim
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Updated: 6/28/2013 6:38 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- The FCC reports 113 smartphones in the nation are lost or stolen each minute.

In the Las Vegas valley, Metro says more and more SmartPhones and tablets are targeted by thieves. The practice is dubbed “Apple picking”

This year, 552 robberies in the valley involved the theft of a cell phone, up from 490 at the same time last year. But that number only counts incidents that involve physical force, so the actual number of stolen phones likely is much higher.

Those stolen devices, police say, are often sold internationally and on sites such as craigslist for hundreds of dollars. There are even buyers willing to purchase phones with bad ESNs, which means it *could be a stolen phone.

Police say perpetrators are targeting people who are not paying attention and distracted.

Currently, the “Find My iPhone App” does not work if the phone is turned off. But what detectives say may deter criminals is the upcoming Apple software: the IOS7. It will offer a feature preventing a phone from having its data and tracking device wiped out.

Some other things to note: Know the details of your phone, including the serial number. You'll need that if it gets stolen. Also, it's a good idea to have insurance so you don't have to pay the full price to replace it.
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