Two news stories are developing this weekend that involve iPhone-related violence.
The New York Post is reporting that a teen is now fighting for his life after he was stabbed early this morning during a fight over an iPhone at a Fordham Heights subway station.
Apparently, the 19-year-old saw that a friend’s phone had been snatched after the two fell asleep on a downtown 4 train. When he realized the phone had been grabbed, he spotted someone who he thought looked suspicious and began fighting with him over the missing iPhone. The fight made its way to the Fordham Road station platform, and the man repeatedly stabbed the 19-year-old in the face and chest. The suspect fled the scene around 4 a.m. The teen is in critical condition at St. Barnabas Hospital.
Meanwhile, two men have been arrested for the alleged murder of a cook at the Museum of Modern Art — also over his iPhone, DNAinfo is reporting.
Dominick Davis, 20, and Alejandro Campos, 21, were arrested for allegedly shooting and killing Hwang Yang, 26, on April 18th near his Riverdale home. In a hard-to-believe twist, police nabbed the suspects because the accused robbers placed an ad on Craigslist to sell the iPhone. For $400. The Daily News reports that the ad said: “Have two iPhone 4’s for sale Inwood/Wash Hits.” Apparently, a call to a number listed on the ad produced Campos’ cell phone number, which detectives used to track the suspect to his Bronx apartment on Thursday.
Yang, DNA says, was an aspiring star at the MoMA’s famous restaurant and was also a Sunday school teacher. They linked to a video of the victim’s sister, Sunah Yang, who said the family is relieved by the arrests.
It’s worth noting that the theft of iPhones has become an increasing problem for the city. We reported earlier this year that almost half of all property thefts in the city are related to cell phones, and that half of the nearly 16,000 robberies in New York over the first ten months of 2011 involved technological gadgets. Additionally, 70% of the cell phones stolen on subways and buses this year were iPhones.
It’s an “epidemic,” according to Sen. Chuck Schumer, who has been pushing for ways to curb these crimes for months.
Earlier this year, he and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced an agreement between cell carriers and the Federal Communications Commission to permanently disable stolen iPhones and smartphones so they can’t be resold on the black market. Schumer is also introducing legislation that would make it a federal crime to alter or tamper with the database of unique cell phone identifiers that authorities will use to shut down stolen devices.