Robbery and Theft of Smartphones, iPhones, Laptops and.....

/uploadedImages/Police/Level_3_-_General/iphone5-1.jpgIt is timely and appropriate to talk about the theft and robbery of Smartphones, iPhones and laptops. As popular culture has evolved and changed, so has crime. Small portable items, easily concealed, have consistently been items that opportunists focus on stealing. There was the Walkman, then the Discman, then the explosion of the MP3 players, most notably, the iPod and each time, trends emerged that these were being stolen by the hundreds in the City of Berkeley and the 10s of thousands across the United States. We won’t even start talking about GPS systems in cars. As one colleagues shares in his community talks, "would you leave 2 or 3 crisp $100 bills on your dashboard?" The resounding answer is a quizzical "No!"

Each week, the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) reviews lists of Calls For Service (CFS) and crime reports taken from the previous weeks and recent days. With some  variances, the list inevitably includes onw third to one half (1/3 to 1/2) of all the thefts with descriptions such as  “Unattended”, “Unlocked” “Valuables Left in Vehicle.”

The City of Berkeley has been challenged with an increase/an uptrend in suspects committing pedestrian robberies to steal Smartphones. This is not a phenomena limited to the City of Berkeley. BPD previously sent out some crime prevention measures to consider. Now that all the students have returned to schools – from High Schools to Colleges to the University of California, Berkeley, we want to stress the importance again as well as some context as to why iPhones? They can be wiped clean or “jail broken” In addition, they can be transferred to any other carrier. This makes the iPhone and other Smartphones very valuable. (of course your warranty is voided if you choose to do this on your own phone) "Jail Breaking" is a term coined by some individuals that felt as if they were in Jail having to load proprietary applications.

In Terms of Robbery – please consider the following.

Although we are not allowed to promote any one commercial product, in the interest of crime prevention, we are offering a list of some theft recovery programs that have been produced by software developers over the past few years that have helped people get lost/stolen/misplaced devices back in their possession. They also support Officers and Detectives in furthering successful investigations. (and making arrests!)

The following is a list of some that warrant consideration. There are many, many more products – this is just a sampling.
A simple Internet search will support you in your quest. 

Windows Computers

GadgetTrak

Starting at $20 per year

www.gadgettrak.com

Lojack for Laptops

Starting at $30 per year

www.lojackforlaptops.com

Prey

Free for 3 devices OR

Plans starting at $3 per month

www.preyproject.org

 

Apple Computers

GadgetTrak

Starting at $20 per year

 

Lojack for Laptops

Starting at $30 per year

 

MobileMe

(transitioning to iCloud)

To be released

Unknown pricing

 

Prey

Free for 3 devices OR

Plans starting at $3 per month

 

Undercover by Orbicule

Starting at $39 per computer

Apple App Store or search on line

 

Andoid Phones/Tablets

GadgetTrak

Starting at $20 per year

 

Lookout

Free OR

$3 per month for extra features

 

Prey

Free for 3 devices OR

Plans starting at $3 per month

www.preyproject.org

Remember, Officers want to arrest those who victimize the community. BPD continues the goal of reducing crime by 10% in 2011. Together we can make a difference. Small lifestyle changes…and if you do not have any of the products listed above or other you find elsewhere, please consider one. Lastly, have your serial numbers stored in a accessible, handy location so that BPD officers can enter them into the Automated Property System (APS) that is a national database for stolen property.