NYPD preaching safety as iPhone 5 launches

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Officers will be stationed at stores throughout the city to register new iPhone 5s.Photo courtesy of NYPD
Officers will be stationed at stores throughout the city to register new iPhone 5s.

As thousands line the streets of New York eager to be among the first to own Apple’s latest product, the NYPD is urging new iPhone 5 owners to keep an eye on safety.

NYPD Community Affairs officers are stationed at 21 city stores — six Apple stores, seven Verizon stores and eight AT&T stores — to register iPhones and engrave them with serial numbers as part of “Operation ID.”

The identification program allows police to trace stolen property or identify found property and return it to its owner.

“The theft of Apple phones and other hand-held devices drove the spike in robberies and larceny this year. Individuals alert to their surroundings are less likely to become victims, and Operation ID will help those whose property is lost or stolen to get it back,” said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

Robberies are up nearly 5 percent on the year and petit larceny nearly 6 percent in the city.

There will be more than 2 million new iPhones that may be targeted by thieves as Apple set a new pre-order record — more than doubling the demand for the iPhone 4S.

“Operation ID” is a free service and residents may register valuable electronics at any time through the crime prevention officer a local police station.