Despite the best efforts of the boys in blue, catching iPhone thieves is hard work. Police really haven’t gotten too much better at it, so they’re changing their target. To get iPhone thieves off the streets, cops in San Francisco are trying a new tactic: rather than waiting around on subways trying to catch thieves in the act of stealing iPhones, The Fuzz has started trapping the buyers of stolen iPhones.
Dressed as regular citizens, San Francisco police officers have started conducting sting operations around the city to bust people buying stolen iPhones. The goal is to reduce iPhone theft by destroying the black-market for the goods. If people are too scared to buy a stolen iPhone, then maybe the thieves will just stop stealing them. At least that’s the police’s hope.
During the sting operations the police will approach potential buyers in areas of the city that are notorious for selling stolen goods. For the operation to be legal, police officers must have the potential customers name their own price. The officers clearly state that the phones have been stolen and then once an offer is made from a buyer, a pair of undercover cops waiting nearby come swooping in and arrest the buyer.
Whether this approach will actually work is hard to say. New York City Police have begun similar operations, but the NYPD is now facing a lawsuit in which a buyer says they were pressured and baited by the police. Many have argued that the police are just creating more and hurting people who didn’t have an intent to commit a crime. However, the police say that the new method is effective so far, we’ll just have to wait a while to see how well it works.
- Source Huffington Post