We’ve reported on iPhone thefts too many times: a few weeks back, we covered the runaway smartphone fugitive who thwarted his captors in a subway turnstile, which rides off the coattail of a Daily News report that these thefts have risen 44% in the past year. Another week, another blog post with a warning to keep an eye on your digital device. But this one has to take the cake for the dumbest iPhone theft we’ve come across yet.
Recently, the NYPD has been conducting what it calls its “anti-Apple-picking” campaign, or Operation ID, in which iPhones and other electronic devices are registered by serial numbers into a database so the cops can track your phone if it’s stolen (we’ll leave the Big Brother references at home, for now). It’s the cops’ way of celebrating the release of the iPhone 5: citizens wait in lines while the cops pick those lines for security.
So yesterday, the cops were conducting a sting for this campaign at the southbound 6 train on Lexington Avenue and 51st Street. It was around 3:40pm and the 6 train, per usual, was crammed with tons of people when the cops entered. It was at this time that some jackass reached his hand into an undercover cop’s backpack and snatched his iPhone.
Soon after, the suspect, Khomali Vinson, ran for his life out of the train when it reached Grand Central. Except the cops were waiting for him as if they almost knew this was going to happen. Vinson will be charged with grand larceny and the criminal possession of stolen property.
What we have here is a classic example of irony (ugh). An undercover cop had his iPhone stolen during a campaign that seeks to prevent iPhones from being stolen. If this is an indication for anything, it’s that the problem will persist, no matter what the authorities will do.