Of all the expensive gadgets and items people carry on their person with them everyday, the iPod seems to the universal must-have item for robbers and bullies. The trouble is, everyone and their mother walks down the street with their white headphones on, drawing attention from some unfriendly iPod bandits. Here's more:
In San Francisco, an increase in iPod robberies over the past two years prompted police to run undercover stings. BART officials have begun placing flyers at stations warning riders that the telltale white earbuds could make them targets for iPod theft.
In Berkeley, police issued a public warning after 16 people were robbed of their iPods in the first two months of the year, including one case in which a 12-year-old boy armed with a pocketknife mugged two women less than 10 minutes apart.
According to the SF Chronicle, a $300 iPod can go for $20 or $30 on the streets. While my first suggestion is Apple should make an iPod with pepper spray, there are some safer ways to keep your iPod, or any expensive gadget save. How can you avoid being a victim?
Don't be a victim: Ways to reduce robbery risk
- Be alert while wearing headphones. Keep the volume low enough to hear people approaching. Look behind you now and then and pay attention to others around you.
- Replace the distinctive white earbuds with older headphones that suggest cheaper equipment.
- Don't walk or exercise alone at night with your iPod.
- If you think someone is watching or following you, go to a crowded spot, ask for help and call police.
- Record the serial number of your equipment.
- Engrave identifying information (free with new iPod purchases online) on the back of the device.