iPhone theft has been rising for years now; however, police in New York, San Francisco and London say that they’re finally starting to see a dip in thefts of the popular smartphone. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman believes the decline in iPhone theft is thanks to Apple’s Activation Lock feature that debuted with iOS 7 last September.

Police officers in San Francisco and London say that after Apple introduced its measure, called Activation Lock, last fall, iPhone theft fell significantly. Comparing data in the six months before and after Apple released the feature, the police said iPhone robberies in San Francisco dropped 38 percent, and those in London fell 24 percent.

The police in New York said that robberies involving Apple products dropped 19 percent and those involving grand larcenies dropped 29 percent in the first five months of 2014, compared with the same time period from 2013.

“The introduction of kill switches has clearly had an effect on the conduct of smartphone thieves,” Mr. Schneiderman said in an interview. “If these can be canceled like the equivalent of canceling a credit card, these are going to be the equivalent of stealing a paperweight.”

Other factors have contributed to the decline as well, such as companies educating customers on adding passcodes to devices to prevent them from being erased and resold. Back in April, Apple along with other tech companies committed CTIA’s smartphone Anti-Theft efforts.


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