Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone and iPad top the list of most commonly stolen items in New York City. A new report indicates Apple devices account for over 18% of major thefts in the city. These devices are so popular with pickpocketers that police in NYC specifically track Apple thefts.

apple iphone theft

Apple thefts on the rise

In 2013, there were over 8,000 stolen iPhones, iPads, and iPods, among other Apple gadgets. Joseph Giacalone (retired detective for New York Police Department) explained the most of the thefts happen when people are focused on their devices and ignore their surroundings. It also happens a lot on or around public transportation.

The Wall Street Journal added, “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.”

NYPD offers theft prevention tips

Although the NYPD cannot prevent thefts, they do suggest Apple users active the “Find my Phone” feature which was designed to track the location of the device. If iPhone users haven’t already updated their iPhone to iOS 7, it would be a good idea to update as soon as possible. iOS 7 features “Activation Lock” which prevents other users from reactivating remotely swiped devices.

New York police also released a public service announcement video to educate residents on how they can prevent device thefts. Apple users should put away their devices in a secure spot before entering stations, riding trains, or exiting stations. Those who commit theft or class E grand larceny are convicted can receive jail time or be forced to pay a fine. Hopefully, NYPD’s tips will prevent further thefts this year.