There is an epidemic of violent crime when stealing cells and tablets since the manufacturers apparently do little to protect make these devices inoperable if stolen.  On May 10, 2013 the New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sent letters to Apple, Google/Motorola, Microsoft, and Samsung “seeking information about their efforts to protect customers from the rise in violent street crimes known as Apple Picking.”

The AG Schneiderman’s press released stated that “recent study found that lost and stolen cell phones cost consumers over $30 billion last year” and went to say that these vendors:

…have a responsibility to their customers to fulfill their promises to ensure safety and security. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that produces some of the most popular and technologically advanced consumer electronic products in the world. Surely we can work together to find solutions that lead to a reduction in violent street crime targeting consumers.

Here are some examples cited in the letter to Tim Cook CEO of Apple:

  • On April 19, 2012, a 26-year-old chef at the Museum of Modern Art was killed for his iPhone on his way home to the Bronx.
  • In April 2012, twenty-year-old Alex Herald was stabbed during an iPhone theft.
  • In September 2012, in three separate incidents, women were violently attacked for Apple and Samsung devices.
  • In February 2013, three people were stabbed on a subway platform in Queens in a fight over an iPhone.
  • Earlier this month, a woman was mugged at gunpoint in Crown Heights for her Android device.

This alarming information from New York hopefully this will help get public attention to improve the technology for when cells and tablets are stolen.