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iPhones linked to younger N.Y. robbers

July 26, 2008 at 1:29 PM

NEW YORK, July 26 (UPI) -- The burgeoning cadre of criminals ages 11 to 19 in New York is due, in part, to the popularity of gadgets such as the iPhone, police say.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said pricey, high-tech devices, including the iPhone, are so popular among teenagers and pre-teens they turn to crime to get them, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

"The explosive popularity of these devices has also made them inviting targets for thefts. Teens are commonly the culprits, as well as the victims," Kelly said.

The commissioner's statements come as New York figures show juveniles represented 29 percent of the city's 7,340 robbery arrests this year and 27 percent of all 4,566 grand larceny arrests.

Police said those percentages represented an 8 percent increase compared to the year-ago period.

The Daily News said Apple, the maker of the iPhone, has acknowledged in a past patent application that theft of such devices was a serious problem.

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