New York City's annual crime rate is about to increase for the first time in 20 years, with city officials (and Mayor Michael Bloomberg) squarely laying the blame on a sharp jump in Apple-related thefts. As of Monday, the city had logged 108,432 major crimes throughout the five boroughs — 3,484 more compared to where things stood at this point last year. In particular, police have seen a dramatic rise in thefts involving Apple hardware, which are up 3,890 year-over-year. If not for the allure iPhones and iPads present to thieves, officials maintain, the city would instead be enjoying a drop in overall crime including the lowest number of homicides on record. “If you just took away the jump in Apple, we’d be down for the year,” Marc La Vorgna, the mayor’s press secretary, told the New York Times.
The trend of Apple thefts outpacing the rate of general crime has been ongoing for some time now, despite the NYPD's efforts to raise public awareness of the growing threat. In remarks during his weekly radio program, Bloomberg confirmed that these numbers include Apple devices exclusively and that he wasn't lumping in products from other manufacturers. The sheer rise in popularity of Cupertino's gadgets has given thieves countless new targets. “The proliferation of people carrying expensive devices around is so great,” La Vorgna said. “It’s something that’s never had to be dealt with before.”