Theft of Apple iPhone sets off a cinematic high-speed chase

“The woman was talking on her iPhone, and never saw coming her induction into a large and growing subset of crime victims. But there it happened shortly after noon on April 15, on a busy corner of Main Street in Flushing, Queens,” Michael Wilson reports for The New York Times. “A teenager zipped past, snatching the phone out of her hand and kept running.”

“Devices like hers were stolen 16,000 times last year in New York City. But what happened on this afternoon was anything but commonplace,” Wilson reports. “The closest comparison that leaps to mind is a classic chase scene from a 1971 thriller.”

Wilson reports, “The teenager, soon out of sight, had every reason to believe his getaway was whistle clean. The woman, with just as many reasons to believe that was the last she would see of her phone, flagged a police officer, who put a call over the radio with a description of the young man wearing a yellow hooded sweatshirt. Another officer pulled out his own iPhone, and together with the victim, logged into the Find My iPhone feature, which should work if the thief had not turned the victim’s phone off. He had not.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The NYT is really slipping. They forgot to blame Apple.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jetlag John” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
The New York Times tries to blame Apple for smartphone thefts – May 2, 2013
iTheft busters: NYPD forms dedicated team to catch iPhone and iPad thieves – February 22, 2013
Thanks to Apple’s ‘Find My iPad,’ California police arrest Christmas present thief – December 27, 2011
Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ helps find wreckage of Chilean plane crash – September 7, 2011
Find My iPhone! Hampshire binmen save iPhone after rubbish error – January 13, 2011
Mugging victim uses Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ to track robbers – August 31, 2009
NYC thieves want iPhones, victims are fighting back with tech like Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ – July 2, 2009


  1. Let’s blame Apple for the downfall of our society. In fact, let’s put the blame on Apple for all the failings of mankind. If Apple didn’t make products it’s likely all thefts would completely stop.

    Oh, wait…


    I remember in one of the later Death Wish movies there was this fast running crook who would snatch women’s purses and tear ass down the block and couldn’t be caught. Kersey had a solution for that. He mail-ordered a Wildey Magnum handgun. The next time that fast-running dude snatched a purse, he found out he couldn’t outrun a .475 magnum slug and that was the last purse he ever snatched. As long as there aren’t crowds of innocent bystanders around, that Wildey would be the perfect solution to stop iPhone snatchers.

  2. Actually, the article is one of those “planting seeds” varieties that furthers the NYT agenda on manufacturers doing more to prevent theft. The article is making the point that a whole lot of police resources were used (abused?) in tracking down one theft. All the article lacked was a flagrant hit-whore question at the end: “Tell us in the comments section if you think this was an inappropriate use of police resources.”

    1. OF COURSE police doing their job is a correct use of resources. It IS the job of the police to track down theft suspects and help theft victims. In this case, the fast response, number of officers, and the tech solution worked great.

      When my home was broken into, the cops said there isn’t a good chance we can find or recover anything… but we’ll let ya know.

      Just how are the tech manufacturing companies supposed to be responsible to reduce theft? I guess they could turn to producing cheap, fall apart plastic crap not work the sum of its components…. oh, wait….

      I guess they could put a special pocket sensor into a device. When it was recorded as stolen, it would signal the owner, who could then initiate the self destruct sequence and singe the thief’s genitals into a cinder charred carbon scored oblivion. Is that OK for the NYT?

  3. The ONLY thing that Apple needs to be blamed for here is their ongoing failure to require the passcode of the phone to be entered in order to turn it off. There is absolutely no reason that an unauthorized person should be able to turn off an iPhone, especially since a powered-down iPhone cannot be tracked.

    Please, Apple – get with it and close this theft loophole.

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