A recent sting operation carried out by the NYPD recently nailed 141 merchants ranging from barbershops, newstands, pawnshops and supermarkets for buying stolen iPads and iPhones.
Undercover officers went around the five boroughs selling iPhone 4S’s and iPad 2′s very cheap specifically telling the merchants that the items were stolen.
We honestly don’t recommend buying stolen goods whatever the reason may be but a $50 iPhone 4S sure does sound like a steal.
That’s our intention, to reduce the places where people who steal these things can go and sell them,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. “If someone is offering you an iPad for way below market value, you have to realize that it’s most likely stolen.”
The slight uptick in grand larcenies this year has been driven by thefts of handheld electronics, Browne said.
This week’s sting follows undercover NYPD operations in the subway that targeted the electronics thieves who prey on straphangers.
Brooklyn saw the most arrests, with 42, while there were 41 in Manhattan, 31 in The Bronx, 21 in Queens and six on Staten Island.
The tactic of sending undercover officers to businesses known to buy stolen phones was already in use by precincts in Williamsburg and Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
“We talk to prisoners when we bring them in and ask them, ‘Hey, where are you selling these phones?’ ” said a police source in Fort Greene’s 88th Precinct.
Bodegas buy stolen smartphones for about $175, then turn around and sell the phone on eBay for about $300, the source said.