NYPD Forms Dedicated Apple Team to Recoup Stolen iDevices

Turns out the theft rate of Apple iDevices is so high in New York that the NYPD has formed a dedicated Apple team assigned to work with the tech giant to get those stolen iGadgets back, the New York Post reports.

How will this collaboration work? The NYPost says each time an Apple device gets into a thief’s hands, NYPD detectives will get its tracking number from the victim or from online records. This number is known as an International Mobile Station Equipment Identity that will be shared with the specialized Apple team officers who will then share it with Apple.

Now comes the most interesting part: With the IMEI number in Apple’s hands, the company will track the device’s current location and it can do so even if it was re-registered with another carrier.

The NYPD Apple team is not limited to New York. In one example emphasized by the police department’s spokesperson, a stolen iPad was returned to its rightful owner from the Dominican Republic, and it was recovered with the help of an NYPD intelligence cop assigned to Santo Domingo.

Another iPad thief suspect was arrested at a city bus stop with the help of Apple, who had tracked down the stolen device. Since Apple owns a highly sophisticated device tracking system, it was easy to spot the man at the bus stop, prompting the NYPD to recover the iPad.

However, many of the devices aren’t recouped from thieves, as they end up on the secondary market pretty soon after they had been stolen. Even in the case of an owner who purchases the device as a secondhand gadget from the secondary market, the police may confiscate the device and return it to the original owner as the police spokesperson highlighted.

The wireless industry’s own database of stolen smartphones and tablets isn’t likely to be functional until November.

Written by Istvan Fekete, edited by Michael DeLisi