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Home  >  Topics  >  Patrol Issues

April 29, 2013
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Undercover SF police sell 'stolen' iPhones to deter thefts

The officers explain that the phones are stolen and arrest those who make an offer on them

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — In an effort to stop the theft of iPhones for resale, plainclothes San Francisco police are posing as people openly selling "stolen" iPhones on the streets.

"If they steal the phone but can't sell it, there's no market. We're cutting the head off the snake,” Police Capt. Joe Garrity said, according to Cnet News.

Fifty percent of all thefts in San Francisco are smart phone thefts, according to the article, and most victims are women.

The officers operate in areas of the city known for such thefts and are ‘linked to the global trade’ in stolen iPhones.

Not everyone is on board with the sting. Former police chief George Gascon, the city’s district attorney, stated, “This is like the drug war — the more arrests you make for drug use, the more drug use seems to go on."

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