Psst. You wanna buy a stolen iPhone or iPad? New York City police say the iPhone is such in demand shop owners will buy the handset even when they know the device was stolen. The NYPD recently arrested 141 employees who purchased hot iPhones to sell at pawnshops, grocery stores and barbershops.
The arrests were part of a sting that concluded Sunday involving more than 600 stores suspected of buying stolen iPhones. Undercover NYPD officers asked between $50 and $200 for iPhone 4s and iPad 2s they clearly identified as stolen. The Apple smartphone is often the target of more than half of the robberies reported in the city, according to the New York Post.
“If someone is offering you an iPad for way below market value, you have to realize that it’s most likely stolen,” NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Along with stolen iPhones and iPads, city law enforcement is also coping with a rise in counterfeit Apple devices.
As we reported, many of the fake iPads appearing on New York City streets likely began in China. In July — long before the insanity of holiday shopping began — one company found 23,000 iPad clones. One suggestion is to limit your shopping to known retailers, such as the Apple Store or Amazon. That iPad you pick up at the corner drugstore for $29.95 likely won’t have Apple’s blessing when it breaks.