While we aren't seeing many cases of "Apple Picking" in Arizona, law enforcement agencies said they are seeing an increase in the number of cases of stolen smartphones, especially in places like bars and nightclubs.
It all boils down to money.
Smartphones are easy to steal and thieves can make quick cash.
"Right now, the smart phone is like the perfect item to steal, because it's small and they can turn it really quick for a quick $200," said Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark. "It happens a lot in the (night) clubs, because you've got drinking and you've got the phones out."
Leave a phone on a bar top and before you know it, the phone is gone, even though it's essentially useless.
If the owner reports it stolen to their cell phone provider, it can't be activated by someone else.
"A thief doesn't care what's going to happen to the end user of this thing," said Ken Colburn with Data Doctors in Tempe. "They're going to steal it and they're going sell it for whatever they can, and then they're going to go on to sell the next one."
Colburn encourages the use of passwords and GPS tracking apps, including "Find My iPhone."
But, he also points out, those apps might be giving people a false sense of security.
"If a thief that knows what they're doing has stolen your phone, they're (GPS apps) almost useless," Colburn said.
Sgt. Clark told CBS 5 News until there isn't a market for secondhand smartphones, your best defense against theft is personal responsibility.
"Just think like, if you had two $100 bills would you leave it out on a table?" he said. "Because that's what a thief sees when they see the phone. They see $200."
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, July 17 2013 3:53 PM EDT2013-07-17 19:53:07 GMT
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