“Apple Picking” a nationwide crime trend

by Nicolas Hallett

Many University of Minnesota students, faculty and staff have been victims of smartphone thefts lately, namely Apple’s iPhone.

This phenomenon is a local example of a national trend known as “Apple Picking,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.

The Federal Communications Commission reports that nearly one in three robberies nationwide involves theft of a mobile phone.

Thieves often wipe the phone’s memory clean and can then sell it for hundreds of dollars.

The issue is so widespread that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called for a “smartphone summit” to urge mobile phone providers to install new technology to reduce the burglaries, according to a press release from Schneiderman’s office.

“The theft of handheld devices is the fastest-growing street crime, and increasingly, incidents are turning violent,” Schneiderman said in the release. “It’s time for manufacturers to be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live.”

Apple’s newest operating system iOS 7 includes a Activation Lock security feature that requires the user to enter the Apple ID and password in order to erase the phone’s contents and sell it.