Police: iOS 7′s Activation Lock has helped reduce iPhone theft in some cities

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When Apple introduced the new Activation Lock anti-theft system with iOS 7 to help prevent the re-use of stolen iOS devices, some lawmakers saw it as the perfect way to help quell smartphone theft. In fact, many sought to make features like it standard on all mobile devices. Today, the New York Times has released some new numbers that shows a decrease in iPhone theft following the implementation of Activation Lock.

According to New York police, thefts involving Apple products have dropped by 19% in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. London and San Francisco authorities have seen even more impressive drops, with 24% and 38% reductions in iOS device thefts, respectively, in the six months following the feature’s release when compared to the six months immediately preceding it.

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Smash and grab thieves do some holiday looting in Apple Store, Berlin

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Bild.de reports that thieves crashed an Opel Corsa into the Apple Store in Berlin in the early hours, stealing display model iPhones, iPads and Macs. Six thieves were said to have carried out the smash and grab at 4.15am before escaping in two Audis.

There have been seven such burglaries in Berlin recently, including one at the electronics chain Media Markt, where the thieves made off with goods worth €100,000 ($137,000).

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Virginia town encouraging citizen crime reporting with free iOS app

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The Marion Police Department in Virginia have decided to encourage residents to report crime by releasing a new app called “iWatch Marion“. The app is available for free on the App Store and provides citizens with an easy way to report potential crimes by uploading tips, photos, and video. Content uploaded by users is forwarded directly to the police department closest to the location the tip was sent from:

Because iWatch Marion uses global positioning technology, the system intelligently forwards information to the Howard County Police Department based on where the handheld device is physically located at any given moment.

The app will also allow users to receive alerts for missing children, crime, weather, and more. I’m not sure if major cities will jump on the idea of encouraging citizens to get involved in crimes in progress, but it’s something that more and more smaller towns are starting to take advantage of. Read more