From the Wall Street Journal:
New York City became a much safer place in the past 12 years—unless you're the owner of an iPhone or iPad.
While the city saw dramatic decreases in most major crimes during the tenure of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, one category has remained nearly unchanged: grand larcenies.
One driving force, experts and police said, is thieves snatching cellphones and electronic devices—especially Apple AAPL +0.52% products. That type of crime is usually classified as grand larceny in the fourth degree, experts said.
Many of the thefts happen on public transportation, where most people are buried in their devices and aren't paying attention to their surroundings, said Joseph Giacalone, a retired New York Police Department detective. "It's easy pickings," he said.
The number of those crimes reported to police decreased about 1% when comparing 2002 figures to preliminary 2013 figures, according to data provided by the NYPD.
For those same years, which bookend Mr. Bloomberg's administration, murders decreased about 43%, robberies dropped about 30% and vehicular thefts decreased about 72%, according to the data. The number of grand larcenies has steadily increased each year since 2010, the data show.
Nationwide, grand larcenies are decreasing: There was a nearly 13% drop in the crime comparing 2002 and 2012 figures compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The trend in New York City is notable because it seemed to resist Messrs. Bloomberg's and Kelly's data-driven approach to crime reduction. A spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg pointed to past comments of the former mayor and NYPD officials saying that thefts of Apple devices play a major factor in the yearly number of grand larcenies.