The NYPD Would Like to Help You Not Get Your Fancy New iPhone Stolen

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Have you ever noticed how nobody seems to heed the MTA’s “Don’t play dumb with your Smartphone” warnings? How the moment the train emerges from the tunnel onto the Williamsburg Bridge, the phones emerge as well? The PSA that plays specifically when cell service returns is usually interrupted by an orchestra of text beeps and blips.

Well, apparently pickpockets and thieves have taken note of this as well. According to a Reuters article, the past year has seen a massive spike in cellphone theft. Concurrent with the release of the iPhone 5, the NYPD is launching a new antitheft program. Officers in 21 sales outlets across the city are urging customers to sign up for the program by recording the new phone’s serial number—or you can opt to engrave a special ID tag that begins “NYC.”

People love their phones these days, (A friend recently referred to her incessant social media “Refreshing” as the “nervous tick motion for the new millennium.”) and smarter Smartphones have increasingly more options to help ward off unwelcome water-cooler talk, but do little to protect against actual theft.

The NYPD program is free and available at any precinct for any kind of phone.