Mayor Bloomberg Blames Victims of iPhone Thefts

By Jill Colvin on May 4, 2012 10:31am 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed the rise in iPhone thefts across the city Thursday.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed the rise in iPhone thefts across the city Thursday.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

CITY HALL — Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed victims for a recent spate of iPhone thefts, saying they treat their gadgets "cavalierly."

New Yorkers have reported more than 10,700 grand larcenies so far this this year — 888 more than in the same period last year — and expensive electronics, including iPhones, top the most-looted list, according to NYPD statistics.

Hwang Yang, 26, a cook at The Modern at MoMA, was shot and killed on April 19 a few blocks away from his Riverdale home. Police believe he was targeted Yang because of the distinctive white ear buds in his ears.

Two Bronx men were later arrested and charged for the alleged robbery and killing.

But the mayor on Thursday dismissed the recent spike in smart phones thefts, saying the city has bigger fish to fry.

"If the worst problem we have is iPhone stealing…” the mayor said, rolling his eyes, when asked about troubling increases in crime across the boroughs during his annual budget address.

He continued to rub it in, calling to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was sitting in the front row.

“Ray, you've got to get on this iPhone right away! This is serious!" he said sarcastically, brushing off the question, and then blaming victims for the crime.

"We do live in a world where people carry around and treat cavalierly pieces of technology that are useful to somebody if they steal them and easy to steal," he said. "That's a challenge. You're always going to have that."

As DNAinfo.com New York reported earlier this week, crime is up across the city, with every borough showing alarming spikes in grand larcenies, as well as robberies, rapes and misdemeanor sex crimes.

Police have been experimenting with tracking technology, hunting down thieves using phones' GPS.

Hwang Yang, 26, was shot and killed near his home in Riverdale on April 19, 2012, apparently over his iPhone.
Hwang Yang, 26, was shot and killed near his home in Riverdale on April 19, 2012, apparently over his iPhone.
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DNAinfo/Handout

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