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iPod Blamed For Rise In Crime

by March 05, 2008

As if threats of terrorism and recession weren’t enough, now there’s something else to worry about – the iPod crime spree! According to crime statistics, violent crime has been on the decline since the early 90s. But statistics show that trend changed in 2005 and researchers at Washington’s Urban Institute say iPod muggings are to blame.

iCrime is apparently on the rise, that’s what the Institute is calling the theft of small portable gadgets like the iPod. FBI statistics say robbery has risen from 137 per 100,000 people in 2004 to 141 per 100,000 in 2005 and 149 in 2006. These numbers have been the source of the overall violent crime rate’s increase despite drops in other violent offenses like rape and aggravated assault. The rise corresponds with the period where Apple sold about 5 million iPods and the gadget became a cultural icon.

Researchers see several key conditions being met that contributes to the iCrime-wave: The iPod is a portable item worth hundreds of dollars, perfect for an unencumbered quick score. The telltale white ear-buds are a beacon to potential perps that this individual is distracted and won’t hear someone coming up behind them.

Subway officials in New York and San Francisco have reported dramatic increases in iPod thefts. Some local news reports have claimed iPods are the new must-steal item for thieves replacing the oft’ absconded Air Jordans.

Urban Institute researcher John Roman points out that the robbery rate increase has mainly been among juveniles and not adults.

But there are holes in the theory that iPods are the focus of recent increases in crime. Because of increases in other crimes, like a slight increase in murder over the same period, Roman acknowledges it’s possible “we’ve got our causation backwards”. There is no hard evidence that iPod muggings and the increase in robberies are connected.

Jack McDevitt, associate dean of Northeastern University College of Criminal Justices says: “There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence of cell phones, iPods, GPS systems that have been targets for theft. No research can tell us those wouldn't have been substituted for other things.”

Avoid iCrime

Use alternative headphones to Apple's white ear-buds and you won't be pegged as carrying an iPod. It’s always a good idea to keep the volume low enough to be aware of your environment.

About the author:

Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad".

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Recent Forum Posts:

skizzerflake posts on March 09, 2008 00:09
admin, post: 384370
As if threats of terrorism and recession weren’t enough, now there’s something else to worry about – the iPod crime spree! According to crime statistics, violent crime has been on the decline since the early 90s. But statistics show that trend changed in 2005 and researchers at Washington’s Urban Institute say iPod muggings are to blame.


Discuss “iPod Blamed For Rise In Crime” here. Read the article.

IPod Blamed? What? Isn't that kind as*-backwards? Shouldn't thieves be blamed? Isn't there always something new and cool to steal? Should we have nothing new because it might be stealable?
fiosmeup posts on March 07, 2008 22:06
I had a FM converter ( remember those?) stolen from my car, those were hot, you could change your Am car Radio to FM!!! Funny thing was my Nikon 35mm Camera( its used a thing called film, remember those?) was in the back seat in a case just sitting there,I guess the FM converter was the target.
The bad thing was they broke my side window to get in.
Dave
JackVa1 posts on March 06, 2008 16:11
I almost forgot that my Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars were swiped from our Gym locker room back in '66.
JackVa1 posts on March 06, 2008 16:09
Starter brand Sports overcoats caused a buzz in the city back in the early 90's
mtrycrafts posts on March 06, 2008 16:00
admin, post: 384370
As if threats of terrorism and recession weren’t enough, now there’s something else to worry about – the iPod crime spree! According to crime statistics, violent crime has been on the decline since the early 90s. But statistics show that trend changed in 2005 and researchers at Washington’s Urban Institute say iPod muggings are to blame.
].

Wasn't there a similar crime problem when the Nike Jordan shoe came out costing $200?
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