NYPD Forms Task Force to Track iPhones, iPads

The New York Police Department is starting their own Apple Care services, according to a recent New York Post article.

Due to a rise in thefts within the New York area, the NYPD has decided to create a team that will track down and recover the stolen devices. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly pointed to the rise in stolen Apple products as the reason for the spike in the city’s crime rate.

“We’re looking for ways to find individuals who have stolen Apple products and return the products to their original owners,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the New York Post. The NYPD has partnered with the popular Cupertino, California based tech company to obtain ID numbers — known as International Mobile Station Equipment Identity numbers — for the stolen Apple products. Apple is able to track the ID numbers and notify the NYPD where the device is located. “Operation ID” will also allow citizens to register their contact information for other valuable portable electronics.

According to the NYPD, there were 11,447 stolen Apple devices from January to September 2012 — an increase of 3,280 over the same period the year before. The task force is the latest solution to the rise in mobile device robberies. The NYPD has previously tried a number of unusual tactics to catch thieves, that have overwhelmingly been stealing iPhones and iPads on subway trains.