In response to the increasing number of iPhones and iPads theft cases, the NYPD has set up an exclusive unit, particularly dedicated to the handling of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) device theft and to return iThings into the hands of their authorized owners.

NYPD logoWinnipeg police arrested four people in connection with the theft of more than $13,000 worth of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices over the course of more than a year.

According to the New York Post, the new official task force is going to work hand-in-hand with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to combat iDevice theft and track down the geographical location of stolen devices using the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity numbers of each device.  Once the tracking number has been relayed to the iPhone manufacturing company, Cupertino can locate the device and send police to retrieve it.

“This technique of identifying stolen phones by their unique identifiers has been around for a number of years and is technically rather simple — the difficult part has been integrating with law enforcement to track down the stolen devices,” said Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder of cellphone security firm Lookout.

The new task force aims to trace a pattern that may lead the law enforcement authorities closer to the epicentre of these thefts and hunt down the crooks who may potentially be involved in the resale of the stolen devices in the black market.

“We’re looking for ways to find individuals who have stolen Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products and return the products to their original owners. It is being done to learn the pattern who is stealing.” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne

“We staked out the bus stop, ID’d the suspect and arrested him. We recovered the iPad,” said Browne

This partnership has led to police to retrieve stolen Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices as far as the Dominican Republic, as well as shutting down reselling operations as one man was caught selling iPads at a bus stop.