Loading...
Crime

New iPhone Design Makes it Easier Target For Thieves Who Are Swarming Downtown L.A.

Comments (0)

By

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 2:49 PM
click to enlarge HOTGIRLSWITHIPHONES.COM
  • hotgirlswithiphones.com

A rash of iPhone thefts has hit downtown L.A. this year, the LAPD says.

The crooks could be taking advantage of what could be perceived as a security flaw in the new iPhone 4s: It has an easily accessible SIM card slot on its right side (the iPhone 4 does not): Its card can be tossed, rendering the phone un-trackable (and possibly allowing the thief to use another SIM card to make calls).

If cellphone snatching continues at the same rate it has for the first quarter of 2012 it will go up 144 percent by the end of this year, says LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon:

It made us ask, what's going on? We think the reason is the iPhone and the similar smart-type phones are becoming more prevalent. A crook can snatch an iPhone, replace the SIM card with one from a pay-as-you-go phone, and have a brand new, latest-generation phone for himself.

Cops aren't the highest tech people around. But hot-dang-it, he's right. The LAPD states:

On newer phones, changing the SIM card is like changing the service, and if a pay-as-you-go SIM is put in the phone, there is no record of the user with a service provider.

Vernon has a conspiracy theory about this:

The phone companies don't really care about this flaw because if the phone gets stolen, the victim will buy another phone, and crook will keep using the one he stole.

Skid Row, it appears, is the Bermuda Triangle for cellphones: 54 have disappeared there in the first quarter of this year, the LAPD says.


View Larger Map

Another hotspot:

The Fashion District, which has seen 10 cellphone thefts in the first quarter versus 27 for all of last year.

Fifth Street and Broadway? 7 phones in the first quarter versus 13 last year.

Cops say cellphones are the number two most removed item in robberies, burglaries and thefts in 2011. They were beat out only by the almighty dollar.

The most common places to get your iPhone ganked: Restaurant tables, libraries, and nightclubs, says the LAPD.

So don't text and walk, put your phone on the table, or lend it to a stranger, they warn. And if you have an iPhone 4s, keep your eye on it, or it will vanish.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.