Apple iPod user: ‘I’d rather be stabbed than give up my iPod’

“Ashley Roberts had an iPod tucked in her pocket when three teens surrounded her in her Scarborough neighbourhood in Toronto,” Zosia Bielski and Jane Armstrong report for The Globe and Mail.

“‘Let me see your iPod,’ one girl demanded, snatching the gadget from Ms. Roberts’s pocket. ‘I think I’m going to take this,’ she gloated, tugging it so hard she pulled the buds from Ms. Roberts’s ears,” Bielski and Armstrong report. “Ms. Roberts, 17, didn’t put up a fight. ‘I would have gotten put in the hospital,’ she said quietly this week.”

MacDailyNews Take: She should’ve used this: Ultimate anti-theft case makes Apple iPods, iPhones look like Microsoft Zunes – July 16, 2007

Bielski and Armstrong continue, “The incident happened two years ago, and the iPod belonged to Ms. Roberts’s friend, 17-year-old Christina McPherson. Despite what happened to Ms. Roberts, Ms. McPherson is defiant: Under ‘no circumstances’ would she give up a gadget that holds 6,000 painstakingly acquired songs, even if it would reduce her chances of being mugged. ‘I’d rather be stabbed than give up my iPod,’ she said.”

“This week, a trial began in Ottawa that has heightened Canadian parents’ concerns about sending their children and teens out of the house with expensive electronic devices such as iPods,” Bielski and Armstrong report. “A youth is charged in the stabbing death of 22-year-old Michael Oatway, an Ottawa man allegedly killed for his girlfriend’s iPod on a city bus.”

“In May, Julien Hernandez, 18, was having an after-school smoke at West End Alternative School on Bloor Street West near Christie Pits park in Toronto when two men came up behind him. Their faces concealed under black bandanas, the men inquired about the school before drawing a knife and cocking a gun at Mr. Hernandez,” Bielski and Armstrong report. “Reaching into his sweater pocket, one man helped himself to the student’s cellphone before swiping his iPod out of his hand. Mr. Hernandez, a ‘movie fiend,’ lost 88 movies and 2,500 songs: ‘There goes my life,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Note: That’s not how iPods work; if you sync to iTunes, you have a perfect backup. Just connect another iPod, authorize it, and load it with your “88 movies and 2,500 songs.”

Bielski and Armstrong report, “Police call iPod assaults an epidemic, not unlike the spate of violent swarmings in the 1990s where the prizes were expensive running shoes and jackets. But iPods are more valued because one size fits all.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ottawa Mark ” for the heads up.]

In a related article, “San Francisco man risks life for iPhone,” Owen Thomas reports for ValleyWag, “Gene Wood, an operations manager at, the Barry Diller-owned search engine beloved by Midwestern moms, wrestled a mugger to the ground rather than lose his iPhone, for which he paid $499. While riding on a subway train in San Francisco and watching a movie, Wood felt a hand reach behind him and snatch the phone. Wood, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 240 pounds, jumped from his seat and pursued the thief. Here’s his harrowing account of how he got his iPhone back through hand-to-hand combat — and got away with just one small, if nasty, head wound.”

Full article here.

This is not a new story, but it bears repeating a bit of advice: Give up your iPod if threatened by a criminal; your life/health is irreplaceable.

Substitute “wallet” or “watch” for “iPod” and you have the same story. Blame the criminal, not the iPod.


  1. This is why Apple needs an iPod and iPhone registry.

    When one gets stolen, Apple could brick it. Better yet, Apple could partially brick an iPhone, track the thief’s movements, and help the cops zero in.

    If the thief is actually stupid enough to take either to an Apple Store for service, arrest them.

    Should make both decidedly less valuable for crooks, no?

  2. Nah, just use the bricking part for current hardware.

    New iPods and iPhones should be redesigned with blasting caps.
    When one gets stolen, detonate it.

    That’d be interesting in some punk’s pocket! Bet they wouldn’t do it twice. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. @d’nomder

    No…it just encourages the criminal to make sure the victim doesn’t report that an iPod was among the stolen items, thus increasing the chance for fatal attacks.

    Fortunately, in pre-Obama America, I can carry a concealed firearm just like the criminals can.

    Post Obama…I assume a criminal frightened away by my firearm will charge me with a hate crime and I’ll go to jail for 12 years.

  4. “The way I see it, it costs a lot more to replace an internal organ than an iPod.”

    It’s Canada, we have universal health care hahaha It will be free but it will take you 6-12 months to get your replacement organ.

  5. re: “Cool, so now they can take the gun as well, shoot you before they leave and leave you there to bleed out.”

    Maybe true in your case.

    …… but not in the case of a trained adult who know how to to handle the typical teen-age dumbass who has “self esteem” that he did not earn.

    Will translate that for you: what it means is that I have been on the earth far longer than they have and am more competent in the things that matter than the current generation of the “young”
    I fear for them if things get tough, it will not be pretty for the “young.”

    I teach them every day,and most 13-30 year olds these days are stalled at about the 7th grade level in terms of competence and self-sufficiency. But hey, they got self-esteem coming out their ears. Don’t have a clue about what to do with it, but…..

    Have a nice day.

  6. Surely this poses the question: why don’t people keep their iPods hidden and change their earbuds? If they did that then NO-ONE WOULD KNOW THAT IT WAS AN iPOD! Duh! Whenever I’m out and about, I see those little grey-and-white earphones meaning: iPod. It’s so darn obvious! No wonder muggers can – nearly always – get away with being idiots!

    Actually, I don’t follow that advice, for the reason that I only use my iPod in a CCTV-secured train, a busy but secure public place (e.g. a major train station or a shopping street with police on it) or in private.

  7. A few months after the iPhone came out I had mine with me on a trip to New York City. I’m not a city person and I was quite concerned about getting mugged for it — so much that was nearly afraid to use it in public.

    But after being in NYC for a day, I forgot my fear. Why? Because *everyone* I saw had white ear buds and an iPod!!! They are just everywhere.

    Doesn’t mean you can’t get mugged, but as long as you use common sense (i.e. stay in well-trafficked public places) and don’t draw undue attention to yourself, there’s no reason to be a target.

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