The Smartphone Theft Epidemic

Some startling statistics:

Cell phone theft in major cities has become a national criminal epidemic, like the car stereo crime wave of the 1990s. In San Francisco, about half of all robberies now involve mobile phones, and in New York there was a 40% increase in mobile thefts in 2012. One recent Harris poll of phone owners found that nearly 10% of cellular users said their phone had been stolen at one point.

The reason is simple: The black market resale value of the devices, like car radios two decades ago, is high. “Your mobile phone is probably the most expensive thing you carry around with you,” says Kevin Maheffey, co-founder of Lookout, a mobile security company. “It’s like holding $400 up to your head.”