It should come as no surprise that iPhones and iPads are prime targets for theft, but it's gotten really bad in New York City. It's so bad that, according to the New York Post, the NYPD is setting up a unit specifically to handle iDevice theft and work with Apple to track down the thieves.
The new task force will work hand-in-hand with Apple to track down the location of stolen 'pads and 'phones using the unique International Mobile Station Equipment Identity numbers of each. Once the NYPD figures out what the number of the stolen device is, Apple will lend a hand and point out its specific location so that the law can track 'em down. And, ideally, Johnny Law can take down some of the nefarious criminal rings that trade in that sort of thing too.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne put it this way to The Post:
We're looking for ways to find individuals who have stolen Apple products and return the products to their original owners. It is being done to learn the pattern who is stealing.
Historically, Apple has been pretty hands-off when it comes to helping law enforcement track down stolen devices. Sure, it's provided applications that can help a user take some initiative, but that's not quite the same. It seems that this alliance is intended to combat the particularly bad state of affairs in NYC specifically, but maybe it'll roll out to other metropolitan areas as well. Even so, the best defense is just to keep an eye on those things. Or get less appealing gadgets. [The New York Post]